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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
A lot of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a controversial injectable tanning representative Melanotan is growing in popularity. However how safe is it, and can it secure us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Known as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormone derived 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 soaks up ultraviolet radiation and provides skin its colour. When delivered by injection over the course of as little as a week, Melanotan has the impact of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Established in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin conditions including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and sensitivity (specifically to sunshine). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help alleviate the signs of these conditions and enable those detected to live a more typical life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage triggered by sunlight) has actually also gotten much public interest, and led to its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this pattern is that producing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with minimal to no sun exposure might secure individuals from skin damage, and even possibly lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin indicates more security from UV radiation, and for that reason a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of fact to the idea of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, but in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only usage by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no released scientific trials of the drug among individuals without these conditions. This indicates its long-term efficacy and safety for use in the general population is unidentified.
In Australia, Melanotan use is unregulated. Although the drug is currently recorded in Schedule 4 (prescription only medications) of the Restorative Goods Administration’s Poisons Standard, no items consisting of Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some practitioners prescribing the drug, most professionals warn against– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for aesthetic or lifestyle functions.
There are presently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to suggest the degree of its usage, however, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
The majority 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 at home. Users report a range of brief adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, nausea, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day present a practical service to achieving a “healthy tan” in line with present western charm ideals. It also produces new kinds of risk concerning needle security, upsetting patient-practitioner relationships via 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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