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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Most Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s slogans reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a controversial injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. How safe is it, and can it safeguard us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Known as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormone derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls growth and development.
It helps to accelerate the production of melanin, the pigment that takes in ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When delivered by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the impact of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily utilized for the treatment of skin conditions consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and level of sensitivity (specifically to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist relieve the symptoms of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more regular life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage triggered by sunshine) has actually likewise gotten much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this trend is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun exposure could protect people from skin damage, and even possibly lower cancer malignancy risk. More melanin suggests more security from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and easily, much deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of fact to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Clinical trials of the security and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, but in 2008 the European Medicines Firm approved a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only usage by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no published scientific trials of the drug among individuals without these disorders. This indicates its long-lasting effectiveness and safety 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 Restorative Goods Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no products containing Melanotan are registered for usage in Australia.
This implies while there are rumours of some specialists recommending the drug, a lot of specialists warn against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle purposes.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the level of its use, however, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug through “underground” online vendors at costs varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a variety of short-term adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, short-lived freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a viable solution to accomplishing a “healthy tan” in line with present western charm suitables. However it likewise creates brand-new types of threat worrying needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships by means of unregulated use, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have worked for decades 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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