If you’re like me, and probably most normal people, you have likely never heard of Melanotan-II. It’s likely because it’s never been approved by any governmental agency anywhere and has never even been used (in a controlled environment) outside of clinical trials. But little facts like that aren’t going to stop people from getting their tan on.
There are also some interesting side effects from Melanotan-II. The photos above are of reddit user n3glv. According to him the side effects include “decreased appetite (very mild nausea more for some, none for me). Increased Libido (Didn’t see that one much either.) Some get a facial flushing like a Niacin dose. (never got that either) And the most strange thing is that it feels really good to stretch, like when you first wake up. (I get that every time I dose, about 1hr 30 after injection).”
Researchers believe that the sexual effects are thought to be related to its ability to activate the MC4 receptor (though the MC3 is thought to possibly also be involved). Which is why my anaconda don’t want none unless you got MC4 hun. Let’s just pretend that last sentence was never written.
n3glv says, “Yes, I do it for the skin coloring. I’m pretty much impervious to UV at this point. I have faded about 25% since returning from Florida Jan 31.. Will be dosing again, probably in March.”
What is Melanotan-II?
(Wikipedia) Melanotan II was first synthesized at the University of Arizona. Researchers there knew that one of the best defenses against skin cancer was melanin activated in the skin, a tan. They hypothesized that an effective way to reduce skin cancer rates in people would be to induce the body’s natural pigmentary system to produce a protective tan prior to UV exposure. The body’s naturally-occurring hormone α-MSH causes melanogenesis, a process by which the skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes) produce the skin’s pigment (melanin). They tested to see if administering this endogenous hormone to the body directly could be an effective method to cause sunless tanning. What they found was that while it appeared to work, natural α-MSH had too short a half-life in the body to be practical as a therapeutic drug. So they decided to find a more potent and stable alternative, one that would be more practical.
After synthesizing and screening hundreds of molecules, the researchers headed by Victor J. Hruby and Mac E. Hadley, found a peptide, [Nle4,D-Phe7]-α-MSH, that was approximately 1,000 times more potent than natural α-MSH. They dubbed this new peptide molecule “melanotan” (later melanotan-1, now known as afamelanotide). They subsequently developed another analogue, Ac-Nle-cyclo[Asp-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Lys]-NH2), which they called “melanotan II”. The scientists hoped to use these peptides to prevent melanoma by stimulating the body’s natural pigmentary mechanism to create a tan without first needing exposure to harmful levels of UV radiation. This in turn, they hypothesized, could reduce the potential for skin damage that can possibly lead to skin cancer.
This all begs the question. But why? Why does n3glv go through the trouble of ordering Melanotan-II from online, and potentially shady, sites and inject himself repeatedly to get far more than just a tan? For him it’s simple, “The darker I am, the happier I am,” he says.