Melanotan-II is an injectable treatment with chemicals similar to a hormone people naturally produce. It was developed to treat men with erectile dysfunction, but it is also used as a self-tanner, or bronzer, as it darkens the skin.
Melanotan should not be confused with melatonin, the supplement that aids in sleep.
It is important to note that this treatment is not FDA approved in the U.S. Melanotan side effects include: nausea, stomach cramps, decreased appetite, and fatigue, among others.
"There have been no long-term clinical trials and the side effects of this chemical are unknown," said Dr. Lorrie Klein, a dermatologic surgeon in Orange County, Calif., in this RealSelf Q&A. "If it could potentially darken or otherwise change moles it could be dangerous. Reactions to the drug vary from person to person, ranging from acute allergic reactions, to dizziness, sickness, and acne. Since it's only available on the internet, probably from sources outside the U.S., there is no way of knowing what is actually in the bottle or how it will react to other medicines."
If you are pregnant, avoid it as other adverse health effects are unknown. Always check with your doctor before adding any treatment, especially an injectable, to your routine.
Related: Read Q&As from real doctors on melanotan.
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