Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
A lot of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s slogans advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. How safe is it, and can it protect us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Referred to as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls development and advancement.
It helps to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout as little as a week, Melanotan has the result of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily utilized for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and level of sensitivity (specifically to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help ease the signs of these conditions and make it possible for those diagnosed to live a more regular life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and possible usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to avoid damage triggered by sunshine) has also received much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The logic behind this trend is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure could safeguard people from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma danger. More melanin implies more protection from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and conveniently, deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of reality to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Medical trials of the security and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Company authorized a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only usage by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
There are no published scientific trials of the drug amongst people without these conditions. This implies its long-lasting efficacy and security for use in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan use is uncontrolled. The drug is currently recorded in Arrange 4 (prescription just medications) of the Restorative Goods Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no products including Melanotan are registered for usage in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some professionals prescribing the drug, the majority of practitioners warn against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or way of life functions.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its use, however, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug via “underground” online suppliers at costs varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a variety of short-lived adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, queasiness, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day provide a viable option to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with present western charm perfects. However it also creates new kinds of danger worrying needle safety, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships by means of unregulated use, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually worked for years to promote.
Melanotan in WikiPedia
Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) that stimulates melanogenesis and increases sexual arousal.
It was under development as drug candidate for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction but clinical development ceased by 2003, and as of 2018, no product containing melanotan II was marketed and all commercial development had ceased.
Unlicensed, untested, or fraudulent products sold as “melanotan II” are found on the Internet, and purported to be effective as “tanning drugs”, though side effects such as uneven pigmentation (it makes already uneven pigmentation more noticeable), new nevi (moles), and darkening or enlargement of existing moles have been reported and have led to medical authorities discouraging its use. There has been no scientific study into the long term and permanent side effects the use of this peptide may cause.
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