Is this injectable tanning drug safe to use?
Many Australians recognize with the Cancer Council’s slogans reminding us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s absolutely nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a controversial injectable tanning representative Melanotan is growing in appeal. 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 an artificial melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent originated from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that manages development and advancement.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that takes in ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. When provided by injection over the course of just a week, Melanotan has the result of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Developed in the 1980s by scientists at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin disorders consisting of vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin appearance and sensitivity (particularly to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help alleviate the symptoms of these conditions and enable those identified to live a more normal life.
Nevertheless, Melanotan’s tanning ability and potential use as a “natural” photoprotectant (that helps to prevent damage caused by sunshine) has actually likewise received much public interest, and resulted in its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The logic behind this trend is that developing tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun direct exposure might secure individuals from skin damage, and even possibly lower melanoma risk. More melanin implies more defense from UV radiation, and for that reason a much healthier (and easily, much deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is possibly a kernel of fact to the idea of the “healthy radiance”.
Is it safe to utilize?
Clinical trials of the security and efficiency of Melanotan are ongoing, however in 2008 the European Medicines Company approved a mix of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only use by those with specific skin problem throughout the European Union.
There are no published scientific trials of the drug amongst individuals without these disorders. This suggests its long-term effectiveness and security for usage in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. Although the drug is presently captured in Set up 4 (prescription only medications) of the Restorative Product Administration’s Poisons Standard, no products including Melanotan are registered for usage in Australia.
This means while there are rumours of some specialists prescribing the drug, the majority of specialists caution versus– and will not recommend– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life purposes.
There are currently no population-based research studies on Melanotan to suggest the level 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 varying from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a variety of short-term side effects including facial flushing, queasiness, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan might some day provide a feasible solution to accomplishing a “healthy tan” in line with present western appeal ideals. It also creates new forms of risk concerning needle safety, unsettling patient-practitioner relationships through unregulated usage, 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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