Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
A lot of Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, which “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?
Called “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that regulates development and development.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout as little as a week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is primarily used for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin appearance and sensitivity (especially to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help reduce the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those detected to live a more normal life.
Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential use 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 way of life drug.
The logic behind this trend is that producing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun exposure might safeguard individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower melanoma threat. More melanin implies more security from UV radiation, and therefore a healthier (and conveniently, deeper) complexion. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of fact to the idea of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Scientific trials of the safety and efficiency of Melanotan are ongoing, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency approved a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only use by those with specific skin conditions throughout the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are no published medical trials of the drug among people without these conditions. This means its long-lasting efficacy and safety for use in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan use is unregulated. The drug is currently caught in Arrange 4 (prescription only medications) of the Therapeutic Product Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no items consisting of Melanotan are registered for use in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some professionals recommending the drug, many professionals warn versus– and will not recommend– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle purposes.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to show the degree of its usage, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label usage in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug via “underground” online suppliers at costs varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in your home. Users report a range of brief side effects including facial flushing, queasiness, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a practical service to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with existing western appeal ideals. But it also produces new kinds of danger concerning needle safety, upsetting patient-practitioner relationships through uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually 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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