FDA Halts Sale Of Libido-Increasing Injectable Tanning Drug

The FDA has warned Melanocorp, Inc., of Tennessee to stop its online sales of Melanotan II, an injectable tanning product that the company claims is “effective in protecting against skin cancer and rosacea.” According to the FDA, such claims cause it to be “classified as a drug under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as well as a new drug because there is no evidence that it is generally recognized as safe and effective for its labeled uses.”

Melanotan II and its precursor, Melanotan, were developed by the University of Arizona in the 90s as a possible way to prevent sun cancer, by triggering the sort of protective tan that otherwise takes weeks of steady UV exposure to generate. Side effect include increased arousal—in one study, it caused erections in 80% of participants—and reduced appetite, which is why the media promptly dubbed it the “Barbie Pill.”

As of this afternoon, Melanocorp.com is serving up a blank page.

“FDA warns Melanocorp for illegal sale of Melanotan II” [News-Medical.net]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. Uriel says:

    I could never understand the tanning craze. These people look like an old leathery boots when they get old. I donno, maybe I’m just a crazy pale guy.

  2. coss3n says:

    Doesn’t it help you re-grow hair too?

  3. Nick says:

    Nero Diavalo:
    The point of these guys’ product was that your skin darkens as if it were being tanned, however your skin does not get damaged by actual sun exposure (so no leathery look). The U of Arizona developed something like this in order to combat skin cancer, because although tanned skin is more resistant to cancer, the only way to get tanned skin was to lie in the sun, making cancer more likely. The skin color change was actually a side effect of the AZ researchers’ drug, but it was a desirable effect.

  4. AtomikB says:

    Wow, I would be a lot better looking right now if I had known this stuff existed.

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    Gawd, I hope you don’t need to inject it in your penis to get the “added” benefit…

  6. formergr says:

    Wow, a nice tan that might help prevent skin cancer, increased libido, and reduced appetite? So what are the side effect, I think I want some! :) Seriously, this sounds more like the fountain of youth than anything, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about it…

  7. mandarin says:

    Looking at that picture… This is one product I will never use.. Ever!

  8. Hitchcock says:

    Why haven’t I heard of this before? I would prefer this over the fake spray on-tans that don’t add any UV protection.

    Oh and Mandarin, this pill prevents what you see in the photo. It gives you a tan (and an erection) without needing to be exposed to UV-A. UVA is what ages your skin.

  9. Hitchcock says:

    I just spent some time researching this and see why it hasn’t taken off. You buy this stuff as a powder, you then have to mix it with a dilutant, and then inject it into your stomach. They recommend twice a day. Not exactly fun, and there’s all sorts of calculations you have to make to determine how to mix it and how much to take based on your weight and skin type.

    Also, it still requires you spend time in the sun. It just speeds up how quickly you will tan so you can spend less time in the sun to get tan.

    Seems like a lot of work for a tan.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, still better than a penis injection, I suppose.

    How does one inject something into the stomach? The same technique they use to force-feed Irish political prisoners or Guantanamo’ed Iraqis?

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh, looked it up. Geezus, it looks skanky. It’s a powder that you buy. You visit discussion boards (!) to figure out the correct dosage based on weight. You then mix it yourself into basically saline solution (hopefully, well and evenly). You buy syringes then draw out the correct (?!) amount, then inject it into the skin of your stomach. At least once a day.

    It ranges in price from $55-160 for 10mg, which is enough for about 6 injections for a 180lb man.

    For something that hasn’t been peer-tested for efficacy, let alone safety.

    What’s next? Home plastic surgery?

  12. infinitysnake says:

    @mandarin: You know that’s just a random pic, right?

  13. mrestko says:

    Well this place does sound pretty shady based upon the comments posted here. However, the protein itself is actually being developed by a company called Palatin Technologies (PTN) to treat the female counterpart to male ED. They’re making it into a nasal spray which should allow it to be absorbed without degredation, thus removing the need for an injection.

    P.S.: See how difficult it is to get a protein into the body, this is why people shouldn’t worry about rBGH in milk…unless they’re inject it, that is.

  14. Parting says:

    Weren’t scientist looking for a heart medication, when they discovered Viagra ;)
    Now, you can get tanned and laid in the same time …

  15. Jason.Falkner says:

    Gee, I sure do hate that nasty old “sun cancer”. When the sun gets cancer, what doctor does he go to?

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    What happens if you just eat the stuff? You digest it w/o metabolizing it?

    If they’re developing a nasal spray, couldn’t you just – err – line up rails and snort it?

  17. mrestko says:

    @trai_dep: Nope, just the opposite. If you eat it, you do metabolize it. Your stomach sees it the same as any other protein you might consume (read: food). And no, I don’t think nasal delivery is quite the easy. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I think proteins are usually packaged with other chemicals that help them make their way into your bloodsteam.

  18. tph says:

    white people are funny.

    /ducks