Unlicensed tanning drug use rising17th November 2008
According to research carried out by the BBC, increasing numbers of people in the UK are using an injectable, unlicensed hormone which causes the skin to tan.
The drug, known as Melanotan, has not been cleared for public use but is provided illegally by websites and some gyms.
The Newsbeat investigation showed that needle exchanges have seen an increase in the numbers of people asking for syringes so they can inject themselves with the substance.
Melanotan encourages the body to produce melanin, which is what turns skin a brown colour.
The drug is undergoing testing for use in treating skin problems but is not legally able to be sold to the public. However, once a person has bought the substance, using the drug is not illegal.
The government's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been in touch with 18 online sites to warn them they should not advertise Melanotan.
Claire Tilstone, from the MHRA, said use of the drug could be dangerous.
"It has not been tested for its effectiveness or its safety," she said. "We do not know what side effects it may cause and potentially what the long-term consequences on their health may be."
She added that people could experience problems if they injected themselves without proper medical advice."
A spokeswoman for the British Skin Foundation said: "The product hasn't yet undergone the necessary safety tests to be legally sold in this country, which should serve as a strong warning to people that it's best avoided until it is."
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Thursday 9th April 2009 @ 5:05
There's an excellent article that Wired Science has recently published about the melanotan peptides:
Suntan Drug Greenlighted for Trials
Melanotan.org - afamelanotide
Thursday 9th April 2009 @ 5:06
Wired Science: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/01/tan.html">Suntan Drug Greenlighted for Trials
http://melanotan.org/ - afamelanotide
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Title: Unlicensed tanning drug use rising
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9228
Date Added: 17th Nov 2008