Pharmaceutical Name: Melanotan II
Drug Classification: Synthetic Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone
Active Life: varies with dosages used
Melanotan and Melanotan II were developed originally as potential preventative
treatments for various forms of skin cancer. It was thought that by
artificially stimulating the internal tanning process among members of the
population that were at high risk to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure
that one may be able to lower the chances of these individuals from developing
the disease later in life (1). While these findings have been relatively
inconclusive in terms of the original intent of the product a few secondary
uses for the drug have been found and are now utilized by many.
The main purpose that both Melanotan and Melanotan II are now administered for
is their ability to act as a tanning agent. Both are synthetic hormones that
once introduced into the body are able to cause a reaction within it that is
similar to the natural tanning process that one goes through without the risks
or need for sunlight to be present, while remembering that some of the
benefits of exposure to the sun will also not be present. The tan that is
created is considered a �natural� one in both the reaction that causes it in
the body as well as the outward appearance of the skin once the drug has taken
full effect. It should be noted however that to achieve the full effect of the
hormones one will still have to expose themselves to sunlight and/or
artificial tanning beds, etc.
Unlike Melanotan however, Melanotan II has libido and sexual performance
enhancing capabilities (2, 3, 4). This is due to Melanotan II having the
metabolite Bremelanotide. Bremelanotide is currently under research as a
possible treatment for various forms of sexual dysfunction, including both
sexual arousal disorders as well as erectile dysfunction. Since however
Bremelanotide has not been made available for use by the general public, for
those wanting to reap its benefits in terms of its sexual performance
improvements, Melanotan II is the only option at this point. It is believed
that the source of this improvement in both sexual performance and arousal is
the action of the hormone on the hypothalamus of the user. This, however, is
still a theory in need of further investigation.
Along with the benefits of providing a tan without the need for extensive
exposure to sunlight as well as improved sexual performance and/or desire,
Melanotan II also may help to decrease the appetite via targeting an
appetite-suppression receptor in the brain (5). This effect is not an
overwhelming one but is noticeable for the majority of users and desirable for
The duration of the tanning effect of the drug once a user ceases
administering it will once again depend on several factors. The majority of
users however will notice that the tan achieved with the drug will fade and
become unnoticeable within four to eight weeks after ceasing the
administration of the drug. The libido enhancement and sexual performance
benefits will fade much quicker along with the appetite suppressing effect.
The Melanotan II compound comes in powder form and must be mixed with a liquid
so that the solution can be injected. The most commonly used liquid is
bacteriostatic water. Once the powder is reconstituted it should be
refrigerated. Prior to reconstitution the powder should be placed in a freezer
for the best possible preservation. Injections are most commonly administered
sub-cutaneously by can be administered intramuscularly as well.
In terms of the amount needed of the drug to see results, a �loading phase�
and �maintenance phase� will have to be undertaken. For the loading phase,
users will want to administer a higher then normal dose of the drug so that
their system becomes saturated with the hormone and its effects begin to
appear. This will include at least daily dosing and in some cases multiple
injections per day depending on the desires of the individual. By injecting
the drug more frequently some users state that they believe that this produces
a more �natural� effect that is closer to what actually happens in the body
under normal tanning conditions. This however is only speculation drawn from
The amounts of the hormone used, the duration of the loading and maintenance
phases and the results achieved by users will vary quite dramatically based on
numerous variables. These can include such things as exposure to the sun
and/or tanning beds, natural pigmentation, body size and individual reaction
to the hormone, among others. Personal experimentation is the only way to
truly identify the tolerance of an individual to the hormone and the amounts
needed to achieve the results desired and reaction to it.
For most individuals, during the loading phase with the hormone, a range of
between 0.015 to 0.02 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per injection
should be sufficient. These injections would take place anywhere from twice
daily to as infrequently as once every other day or longer. For the
maintenance phase many individuals will find that a dose of approximately 0.01
milligrams per kilogram of body weight administered once every few days should
be sufficient to maintain the effects of the hormone. As stated however, the
reactions to Melanotan II are highly individualized so experimentation when
first using this hormone will be necessitated. As always, lower doses should
be utilized to begin with and increased as needed and as one is able to gage
their tolerance for the drug.
Toxicity is not an issue with Melanotan II as far as the available research
indicates; seemingly no organs in the body are adversely affected by the use
of the hormone. This of course bodes well for extended use of the drug.
Injection site irritation is not widely reported and the compound is seemingly
well tolerated both during the actual injection as well as post-injection at
The most commonly reported negative side effect of the hormone is nausea
directly after injection (6). This varies from little to no stomach discomfort
for many to vomiting for others. This effect is most pronounced during the
loading phase when a user will be using larger doses of the hormone and these
effects should be alleviated at least somewhat once the dosages are lowered
and administered less frequently. Beyond lowering the doses administered
however, there appears no treatment to help avoid this effect.
The other frequently commented upon side effect of Melanotan II is the
spontaneous erections that occur post-injection. Of course this can be a
beneficial aspect of the drug with some users even administering it to achieve
this specific effect. For others however this may be more of an inconvenience
if one has to function outside of one�s home in public. The easiest way to
avoid problems for those users wanting to minimize this effect is to time
their doses so that these erections do not negatively affect them. Many users
will inject the hormone late at night to do just this. For most these
erections will last somewhere between ninety to two hundred minutes and will
appear within ten to fifteen minutes post-injection. For most the libido
enhancement will occur throughout the day with peaks post-injection as well.
1. Dorr RT, Ertl G, Levine N, Brooks C, Bangert JL, Powell MB,
Humphrey S, Alberts DS. Effects of a superpotent melanotropic peptide in
combination with solar UV radiation on tanning of the skin in human
volunteers. Arch Dermatol. 2004 Jul;140(7):827-35.
2. Padma-Nathan H, Christ G, Adaikan G, Becher E, Brock G, Carrier S, Carson
C, Corbin J, Francis S, DeBusk R, Eardley I, Hedlund H, Hutter A, Jackson G,
Kloner R, Lin CS, McVary K, McCullough A, Nehra A, Porst H, Schulman C, Seftel
A, Sharlip I, Stief C, Teloken C. Pharmacotherapy for erectile dysfunction. J
Sex Med. 2004 Sep;1(2):128-40.
3. Allard J, Giuliano F. Central nervous system agents in the treatment of
erectile dysfunction: how do they work? Curr Urol Rep. 2001 Dec;2(6):488-94.
4. Wessells H, Levine N, Hadley ME, Dorr R, Hruby V. Melanocortin receptor
agonists, penile erection, and sexual motivation: human studies with Melanotan
II. Int J Impot Res. 2000 Oct;12 Suppl 4:S74-9.
5. Banno R, Arima H, Sato I, Hayashi M, Goto M, Sugimura Y, Murase T, Oiso Y.
The melanocortin agonist melanotan II increases insulin sensitivity in OLETF
rats. Peptides. 2004 Aug;25(8):1279-86.
6. Dorr RT, Lines R, Levine N, Brooks C, Xiang L, Hruby VJ, Hadley ME.
Evaluation of melanotan-II, a superpotent cyclic melanotropic peptide in a
pilot phase-I clinical study. Life Sci. 1996;58(20):1777-84.
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