Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Most Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in appeal. 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 a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormone stemmed from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that controls growth and development.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that takes in ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout just a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally utilized for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin look and sensitivity (specifically to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help relieve the signs of these conditions and allow those diagnosed to live a more typical life.
Melanotan’s tanning ability and possible use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to avoid damage triggered by sunlight) has actually likewise gotten much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The logic behind this trend is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun exposure might protect individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma risk. More melanin means more defense from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and easily, deeper) skin. In this sense, there is perhaps a kernel of truth to the concept of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Medical trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, but in 2008 the European Medicines Agency approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only use by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
There are no released medical trials of the drug among individuals without these disorders. This implies its long-term effectiveness and security for use in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan use is unregulated. The drug is presently caught in Arrange 4 (prescription only medications) of the Healing Product Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no products including Melanotan are signed up for use in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some specialists prescribing the drug, many professionals caution versus– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle purposes.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to show the degree of its use, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
Most of users source the drug by means of “underground” online suppliers at expenses ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a variety of temporary negative effects consisting of 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 practical service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with current western charm perfects. But it also produces brand-new types of threat concerning needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled use, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have 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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