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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Many Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s mottos reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. However how safe is it, and can it secure 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 hormone stemmed from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls development and development.
It assists to speed up 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 effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily used for the treatment of skin conditions consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin look and sensitivity (specifically to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help relieve the symptoms of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more typical life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning ability and possible usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage brought on by sunlight) has actually also received much public interest, and resulted in its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The logic behind this pattern is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun direct exposure might safeguard people from skin damage, and even possibly lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin implies more security from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and easily, deeper) skin. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of fact to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for limited prescription-only usage by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
There are no released medical trials of the drug amongst individuals without these conditions. This implies its long-term efficacy and security for use in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan use is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently recorded in Schedule 4 (prescription only medications) of the Healing 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, most practitioners warn against– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for aesthetic or lifestyle purposes.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the degree of its usage, however, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
Most of users source the drug through “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 series of temporary adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, temporary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day provide a feasible option to accomplishing a “healthy tan” in line with current western beauty ideals. However it also develops new kinds of risk concerning 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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