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Aphrodisiac and Tanning Effects of Melanotan 2

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Melanotan 2

A lab-made chemical Melanotan II is not unlike similar hormones found in human beings. Not to be confused with Melatonin or EPTITHALON (Epitalon), Melanotan II is giving as an injection for tanning the skin and producing erections in men with erectile dysfunctions. It is also administered as a skin cancer prevention method due to exposure to the sun. Similar to the body’s own substance, Melanotan increases pigment production for skin-darkening. It also works on the brain to stimulate penis erections.

Melanotan II

Developed by the University of Arizona, Melanotan II is a melanocortin peptide hormone alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone synthetic analogue. Not like the effects of EPTITHALON (Epitalon), it has been shown in usage to have aphrodisiac and tanning effects in clinical trials and preliminary studies.

First Synthesis

The University of Arizona was the first to synthesize Melanotan II. It was known by researchers that one of the best skin cancer defences was a tan, also known as skin activated melanin. The hypothesis was then to reduce the rates of skin cancer in human beings was to induce the natural pigment system of the body to produce a tan which was protective, prior to being exposed to ultra-violet rays.


Melanogenesis is caused by α-MSH, a natural occurring hormone in the body. This process involves the pigment cells of the skin produce melanin skin pigment. Tests were done to check if the administration of the endogenous body hormone directly would be effective as a sunless tanning method. The findings indicate that even as it seemed to work, the natural α-MSH had a half life that was too short within the physique to be practical as a drug that was therapeutic. For this reason, a search was made to find a more stable, potent and practical alternative.

The Peptide [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH

After putting hundreds of molecules through screening and synthesis, Mac E. Hadley and Victor J. Hruby headed a group of researchers and fond the [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH peptide, dubbing this “Melanotan.” Another analogue was subsequently developed called “Melanotan II” hoping to utilize these for melanoma prevention by the stimulation of the body’s mechanism for natural pigmentation for creating a tan without the necessity of being exposed to ultra violet harmful radiation. In turn, they made a hypothesis that this could reduce the potential for damage to the skin that could eventually lead to cancer of the skin.

Year 2000 Clinical Trial

Twenty men with organic and psychogenic erectile dysfunction were put through a clinical study by the University of Arizona Section of Urology in the year 2000. The conclusion was that Melanotan II is an initiator of men’s penile erections and was potent in men with erectile dysfunctions.

1998 Clinical Trial

The University of Arizona Department of Pharmacology College of Medicine in 1998 had a study published involving 10 men suffering from erectile psychogenic dysfunction. A conclusion of the trial was that Melanotan II potently initiates erections in males with erectile psychogenic dysfunction and has side effects that are manageable at a dosage of 0.025 mg/kg.

1996 Clinical Trial

A pilot clinical trial Phase I conducted on three male individuals in Tucson, Arizona by the University of Arizona Pharmacology Department College of Medicine had a case published in 1996 that in humans, there is tanning activity resulting from Melanotan II given just five doses by subcutaneous injection every other day. The reported side effects were a yawning and stretching complex that spontaneously correlated with penile erections and mild nausea.


Another hormone that would target therapies for sexual dysfunction was developed by Palatin Technology. This was Bremelanotide, which is based on Melanotan II. A metabolite of Melanotan II, Bremelanotide lacks the function of the C-terminal amide. This drug has been going through clinical trial for treating erectile dysfunction and sexual arousal disorder. It is meant for both women and men. Results of preliminary tests prove this drug’s efficacy. There was a brief suspension of the development, however. This suspension was due to a small number of subjects in the trial going through an increase in their blood pressure when the drug was administered intranasally. On the twelfth of August in 2009, it was announced by Palatin that results were positive and high blood pressure was no longer observed when the subjects in the trial were administered Bremelanotide subcutaneously. PL-6983 is a new related compound being concurrently developed by Palatin.


In beauty salons and gyms, many products are sold as Melanotan 1 or 2 purporting to have afamelanotide’s same chemical makeup, with similar results. These have been reported to have similar effects as the clinical trials. However, outside of the government, supplies for the use of human beings are illegal in most jurisdictions and boundaries including Australia, Europe, America and the United Kingdom. A paper published in 2009 for products with Melanotan that was not licensed and sold online had reports that these caused the darkening and size increases of moles over short periods, which was a skin cancer early warning sign. In the British Medical Journal, an editorial was published that suggested that using Melanotan I and II could cause the cardiovascular and immune systems to become damaged and trigger other issues as well. The fact that this peptide is illegal and not licensed for sale in most jurisdictions indicates that there are more than a few possible side effects as a result of acquiring this unlicensed product with or without the advice of a doctor.

Melanotan Products

A warning letter was issued by the FDA to online vendors in 2009 who sold Melanotan II which were in breach of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. In addition, warnings were issued by the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK. The fact that this product has not been licensed in the UK makes its safety unknown. There can be serious side effects and the advice of a doctor is immediately necessary for those who have gotten complications from using this product. A warning was also issued by the Danish Medicine Agency which warned against Melanotan product use and reported that there had been no documentation of effects for protection against cancer of the skin. There were further warnings that tests for Melanotan had not been done and there were side effect potentials for all individuals who used this product.

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