Melanotan 1 and 2

Melanotan 2 (Melanotan II) is a peptide, a synthetic analog of natural melanocortin (a peptide that stimulates melanin synthesis and determines skin tanning), has aphrodisiac properties, as confirmed by studies.

To date, there is no drug approved for human use, only laboratory substances are used for clinical trials, despite this Melanotan 2 is actively distributed online, which creates a high risk of counterfeit products.


Melanotan 2 was first synthesized at the University of Arizona as a skin cancer preventative (because the pigment melanin serves a protective function by keeping out ultraviolet rays). Scientists discovered that natural melanocortin has a short half-life, so it could not be used as a drug, so they decided to modify its formula to make the molecule more stable. After synthesis and screening of a large number of substances by Victor J. Hruby and Mac E. Hadley, a peptide [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH was found that was about 1000 times more potent than natural melanocortin. It was later named melanotan 2 and was patented.

Melanotan-1 (or afamelanotide) is a completely similar peptide, has passed 3 phases of clinical trials, and is approved for human use under the brand name Scenesse.

Human Studies

Phase I clinical trials were conducted on three men at the College of Medicine, Pharmacology Department, University of Arizona at Tucson, and the results were published in 1996. It was reported, “Melanotan 2 causes tanning in men after 5 small doses of subcutaneous injections. Side effects reported included: mild nausea, yawning, spontaneous erections.

A later (1998) study was conducted on 10 men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Researchers concluded that melanotan 2 at a dose of 0.025 mg/kg eliminated dysfunction, even if it was psychogenic. Another 2000 study came to the same conclusion.


  • Causes skin pigmentation through the formation of melanin (pharmacological tanning)
  • Increases libido and erection (as early as 2 hours after the first injection)
  • Suppresses the appetite.
  • Promotes fat burning.

The course

The effect after the course

A single daily dose of melanotan 2 is 500-1000 mcg. until the necessary tan has been achieved (15-20 days). The first injection is best made with a low dose of 100-200 mcg to assess individual tolerance. Exact calculation per kilogram of body weight is not necessary, since the doses vary widely. Results appear gradually over a period of 1-3 weeks. To accelerate pigmentation, one may visit a tanning bed or tan in the sun. The peptide is injected subcutaneously with an insulin syringe, dissolved in water for injection.

Storage and preparation of the solution

According to J. Bombela’s recommendations, it is necessary to cool the vial to room temperature and inject the required volume of water for injection (which should flow down the wall of the vial), then stir with rotating movements (do not shake). The prepared solution can be stored for 14-20 days in the refrigerator.

Application Schemes

  • Melanotan freckle-free regimen. Do not use Melanotan 2 in huge dosages and fanatical constancy; do not abuse ultraviolet light in the first week and do not forget about skin moisturizing. Fairly normal dosages for people with white skin would be 100-200 mcg every day or every 1-2 days for 7-10 days. During that time, you can allow yourself a couple of times to tan for 30 minutes. To achieve your desired skin tone and minimize the likelihood of “melanotan freckles,” do not exceed the dosage and do not stay in the sun for long periods of time. Allow your body to accumulate melanin on its own. MT2 should only act as a kind of “springboard” in this process, which will prevent the appearance of burns.
  • The “fastest tanning + freckles” scheme (aka “accumulation and maintenance” scheme). This is the classic MT2 scheme, promoted by all peptide salesmen. It consists in increasing melanin concentration strongly during first few days and then maintaining it during the whole period of Melanotan use. It looks like this: starting from the first day of use, MT2 must be put at 25% of your “norm” dosage, and each subsequent day build up to 25%. By the fourth day, you will reach 100% of your “norm” dosage, and until you achieve the desired tan shade every day you need to put that 100%. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say exactly what your “norm” is. The salespeople recommend to use a skin phototype, but there are several classifications of skin phototypes (the Fitzpatrick classification is the most complete and comprehensible), and the suggested phototypes do not take into account the possibility of “melanotan freckles”. Applying MT2 according to this scheme will certainly help you tan, but becoming spotty as a jaguar is also possible.

Finally, it’s very important to note that none of the chosen schemes will keep you from getting sunburned if you abuse sunbathing from the first days of MT2 application. Of course, this doesn’t quite fit with the preamble to this article, but I think you are well aware that even with a stimulant like MT2, you should sunbathe slowly, starting with short sessions under UV radiation. Otherwise, you will get a sunburn with all the ensuing consequences.

Side effects

The peptide is not approved by the FDA for use in humans. Known side effects of melanotan are as follows 2:

  • Skin redness
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Dark spots on the skin that may increase in size (reversible).
  • Theoretically, immune system damage and cardiovascular complications. However, studies have found that melanocyte stimulation does not lead to oselacogenesis.
  • Prolonged erection.

Phase 3 clinical trials of melanotan 1 have been completed, approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Name Review Group (NRG), a significant safety endorsement.


A case of overdose has been reported, namely administration of 6 mg once. Some time after the injection, there was pronounced pain, which spread to the whole body. Doctors found a significant increase in heart rate and increased blood pressure; urinalysis showed a significant increase in myoglobin excretion, a protein that is an indicator of muscle damage. A high dose of melanotan 2 caused destruction of muscle fibers, resulting in increased plasma protein content and consequent kidney damage.

Further studies have shown that melanotan 2 can be potentially harmful to muscle (and the body as a whole) at doses higher than 6 mg per day. In any case, it is not recommended to exceed the daily dosage of 1 mg, and if you feel a heart disturbance or pain throughout the body, you should stop taking the drug immediately.

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