Melanotan II (i/mɛˈlænoʊtæn/) is a synthetic analogue of the naturally-occurring melanocortin peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) that in usage has been shown to produce melanogenesis (part of thetanning process that produces darkening pigmentation in the skin) and have aphrodisiac effects in preliminary studiesand clinical trials. Developed at the University of Arizona, it is a cyclic lactam analogue of α-MSH with the amino acid sequence Ac-Nle-cyclo[Asp-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Lys]-NH2.
As of 2016, no product containing melanotan II has ever received approval for use from any governmental drug regulatory bodies outside of sanctioned animal and human clinical trials.
(Speaking on today’s This Morning, Ryan Ruckledge said: ‘I would rather be dead because otherwise my personality would be dead. I couldn’t walk down street if I was pale, I couldn’t physically function.’) (Link)
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Unlicensed and untested powders sold as “melanotan II” are found on the Internet and are reported to be used by thousands of members of the general public for sunless tanning. Multiple regulatory bodies have warned consumers the peptides may be unsafe and ineffective in usage with one regulatory agency warning that consumers who purchase any product labeled “melanotan” risk buying a counterfeit drug. Medical researchers and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, the company developing the related peptideafamelanotide (also known as melanotan I), have warned consumers that counterfeit products sold using the names “melanotan I and II”, “pose a hazard to public health”. (Wikipedia)