Skin

03 December 2008

Tanning drug warning

Health regulators have warned people not to use an injectable tanning drug because its potential side-effects are unknown.

0
Health regulators warned people on Monday not to use an injectable tanning drug because its potential side-effects are unknown.

Melanotan, which is available over the Internet and at some salons and gyms, produces a tan in users by boosting the amount of melanin, the body's natural protection from the sun.

However the treatment is unlicensed and tests have not been carried out to see what possible side-effects there are, or how serious they could be, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.

Side-effects could be dangerous
"We are warning people not to use this product. Don't be fooled into thinking that Melanotan offers a shortcut to a safer and more even tan," said David Carter, Head of the Medicines Borderline Section at the MHRA. "The safety of these products is unknown and they are unlicensed in the UK. The side-effects could be extremely serious."

One user of Melanotan said it required about 10 injections to produce a "nice tan" and a further weekly injection to maintain it. "Now I've started using it and seen the difference it makes, I'll carry on using it until I hear something different," Stacey Boardman told the BBC.

Illicit sales of medicines via the Web are a growing problem since many of the products are counterfeits of dubious quality and potentially dangerous. Last week authorities in nine countries including Britain raided businesses suspected of supplying medicines illegally over the Internet. – (Reuters Health, November 2008)

Read more:
No such thing as a safe tan

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules