Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
A lot of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a controversial injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in appeal. But how safe is it, and can it safeguard us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Called “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 advancement.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection over the course of as low as 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 used for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin look and sensitivity (especially to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist alleviate the symptoms of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more typical life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning capability and possible usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to prevent damage triggered by sunlight) has also received much public interest, and caused its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this trend is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun exposure might secure individuals from skin damage, and even possibly lower melanoma risk. More melanin suggests more defense from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and conveniently, deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of fact to the concept of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Scientific trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized a blend 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 released scientific trials of the drug amongst people without these disorders. This indicates its long-term efficacy and safety for usage in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan use is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently captured in Set up 4 (prescription just medications) of the Therapeutic Product Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items including Melanotan are registered for use in Australia.
This means while there are rumours of some professionals prescribing the drug, the majority of professionals caution against– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle functions.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug via “underground” online vendors at costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in your home. Users report a variety of short-term adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, queasiness, temporary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day provide a feasible option to accomplishing a “healthy tan” in line with existing western appeal suitables. But it also creates brand-new forms of threat concerning needle security, upsetting patient-practitioner relationships by means of uncontrolled 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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