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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Tanning injection safety concerns

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has issued a press release warning healthcare professionals and the general public that melanotan injections are unlicensed and have not been tested for safety, quality or effectiveness. The press release has been reported in the general media (BBC).

Melanotan, also known as the "tan jab", stimulates production of melanin to provide additional skin pigmentation. It is still the subject of research but is being sold illegally on the Internet and in some tanning salons and body building gyms. While it is not illegal to possess or use the injection it is being strongly advised that they are not used because of concerns over product quality and the possibility of infection from needles and diluents used with the injection.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product and this current cautionary advice. Yellow cards can be submitted to report any suspected adverse reactions.

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4 Comments to “Tanning injection safety concerns”

  1. Maybe it is time to update this topic?

    In Italy melanotan-1 (afamelanotide / Scenesse) is now available to treat the photosensitivity aspect of the disease EPP:

    This article explains the development.

    It does appear that a licensed, regulated and doctor administered version is on the horizon for usage by members of the general public.


    Comment by melanotan-1 Scenesse — May 28, 2010 #

    1. Actually, it appears that a licensed, regulated and doctor administered version might be on the horizon for people who suffer from erythropoietic protoporphyria - that is the only condition that the Italian authorities have allowed this drug to be used for.

      So far as I can tell, the European wide agencies have simply granted a Brand Approval which gives one company exclusive rights to a brand name. Trials to confirm safety and efficacy are still ongoing.

      As such that information above still stands, the product is still illegal to sell and the quality of the product may be highly variable.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — May 28, 2010 #

  2. Wired Science has an article related to this topic: Suntan Drug Greenlighted for Trials


    Comment by melanotan - afamelanotide - tanning drug — March 12, 2009 #

  3. I am a student for nurse prescribing as a supplementary prescriber, this concerns me I will prescribe this drug, this I hope will not be on the Nurse prescribing formulary as it is illegal.

    Comment by jean Beach — November 18, 2008 #

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