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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Most Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising 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 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 originated from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls growth and development.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that takes in ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When delivered by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First established in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is mainly utilized for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and sensitivity (especially to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help ease the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those diagnosed to live a more normal life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to avoid damage caused by sunlight) has actually likewise received 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 minimal to no sun direct exposure could safeguard people from skin damage, and even possibly lower melanoma threat. More melanin suggests more protection from UV radiation, and for that reason a healthier (and easily, much deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of truth to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are ongoing, but in 2008 the European Medicines Company authorized a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only use by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
However, there are no published clinical trials of the drug among people without these conditions. This means its long-lasting efficacy and security for usage in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently recorded in Set up 4 (prescription just medications) of the Restorative Goods Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items including Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This means while there are rumours of some specialists prescribing the drug, the majority of professionals warn against– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life functions.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to indicate the extent of its usage, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
Most of users source the drug through “underground” online suppliers at expenses varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in your home. Users report a variety of temporary side effects including facial flushing, queasiness, short-lived freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day provide a feasible option to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with existing western beauty ideals. It likewise creates brand-new forms of threat concerning needle security, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled usage, 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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