A synthetic hormone injected to “top up tans” is illegal and should not be used, warned The Independent today. Widespread coverage has been given to the news that Melanotan, injected under the skin to encourage the skin to darken, has never been safety tested by any Western government healthcare agency.
Anyone currently using Melanotan should stop doing so immediately for their own safety. The drug has not been safety tested by the UK medicines safety agency. Users are advised to consult their GP for advice.
Melanotan and how does it work?
Melanotan increases the levels of the pigment melanin in the skin. This pigment is part of the body’s natural response to the sun, and increasing levels of melanin results in skin darkening or tanning. There are two forms available, Melanotan I and II, which are diluted in water before being injected.
Who decided that it is illegal?
All medicines that are used in the UK have to be licensed by a government agency called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA ensures that all medicines are effective and safe enough for use before granting them a licence for use.