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Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
The majority 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 questionable injectable tanning agent Melanotan is growing in popularity. How safe is it, and can it safeguard us from the sun’s damage?
What is Melanotan?
Referred to as “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 manages development and advancement.
It helps to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that soaks up ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout as low 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 mainly used for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that impact skin appearance and sensitivity (specifically to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist relieve the symptoms of these conditions and make it possible for those diagnosed to live a more regular life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning capability and potential use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage brought on by sunshine) has actually also received much public interest, and resulted in its appropriation as a lifestyle drug.
The reasoning behind this trend is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun exposure might secure people from skin damage, and even potentially lower cancer malignancy danger. More melanin suggests more protection from UV radiation, and for that reason a healthier (and easily, deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of truth to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Agency authorized a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for restricted prescription-only use by those with specific skin problem throughout the European Union.
However, there are no published scientific trials of the drug amongst people without these conditions. This suggests its long-lasting efficacy and security for usage in the basic population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently recorded in Set up 4 (prescription only medications) of the Restorative Goods Administration’s Poisons Standard, no products consisting of Melanotan are signed up for usage in Australia.
This suggests while there are rumours of some specialists recommending the drug, most practitioners alert versus– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for visual or lifestyle purposes.
There are presently no population-based studies on Melanotan to show the level of its usage, nevertheless, there are reports of its increased off-label use in the UK.
The majority of users source the drug via “underground” online suppliers at costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections at home. Users report a series of short-lived adverse effects consisting of facial flushing, queasiness, short-term freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day present a viable solution to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western charm ideals. It likewise develops brand-new kinds of threat concerning needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships by means of uncontrolled usage, and the subversion of public health messages that groups such as Cancer Council Australia have actually 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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