Is this injectable tanning drug safe to utilize?
Most Australians are familiar with the Cancer Council’s mottos advising us to “slip, slop, slap”, and that “there’s nothing healthy about a tan”.
Now a questionable 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?
Known as “Mel”, “MT” or “the Barbie drug”, Melanotan is a synthetic melanocortin, which is a hormonal agent derived from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that regulates growth and development.
It assists to speed up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and offers skin its colour. When provided by injection throughout as low as a week, Melanotan has the result of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
First established 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 appearance and sensitivity (specifically to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can assist alleviate the symptoms of these conditions and enable those detected to live a more normal life.
However, Melanotan’s tanning capability and prospective usage as a “natural” photoprotectant (that assists to prevent damage brought on by sunlight) has actually likewise received much public interest, and resulted in its appropriation as a way of life drug.
The logic behind this pattern is that creating tanned skin (by increasing melanin) with very little to no sun direct exposure might secure individuals from skin damage, and even potentially lower cancer malignancy threat. More melanin indicates more protection from UV radiation, and therefore a much healthier (and easily, deeper) skin tone. In this sense, there is maybe a kernel of truth to the concept of the “healthy glow”.
Is it safe to use?
Scientific trials of the safety and effectiveness of Melanotan are continuous, however in 2008 the European Medicines Company approved a blend of the peptide called Scenesse to be marketed for minimal prescription-only usage by those with particular skin problem throughout the European Union.
There are no released medical trials of the drug amongst people without these conditions. This suggests its long-term efficacy and security for use in the general population is unknown.
In Australia, Melanotan usage is uncontrolled. The drug is presently caught in Set up 4 (prescription just medications) of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Poisons Requirement, no products including Melanotan are registered for use in Australia.
This indicates while there are rumours of some specialists prescribing the drug, many practitioners warn versus– and will not prescribe– Melanotan for aesthetic or way of life purposes.
There are currently no population-based studies on Melanotan to suggest the extent of its usage, 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 costs ranging from A$ 30-50 for a one-month supply, and self-administer the injections in the house. Users report a variety of short-lived negative effects including facial flushing, nausea, momentary freckling and darkening of moles, and in some males, spontaneous erections.
There is a possibility Melanotan may some day present a viable option to attaining a “healthy tan” in line with present western appeal suitables. However it also produces new kinds of threat concerning needle safety, disturbing patient-practitioner relationships by means of unregulated use, 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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