Pharmacists warn of Barbie drug melanotan

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Pharmacists warn of "Barbie drug" Melanotan: tanning agents attack the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Tonic with health risk: The Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations warns of the tanning agent Melanotan sold on the Internet. The so-called "barbie drug" can cause considerable damage to health. The tanning agent can attack the human immune system and permanently damage the cardiovascular system. The health of users is at risk here.

Brown, slim and sexy thanks to melanotan At the end of the 1980s, melanotan was developed at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, USA by a research team led by dermatologist Dr. Norman Levine discovered. When looking for a way to promote tanning of the skin for therapeutic purposes by accelerating the production of melanin, they came across the previously unknown active ingredient. As a natural hormone, melanotan controls the production of melanin, the brown to black pigment that determines the color of the skin and tans the skin under UV rays. Since melanotan is also said to increase libido and curb appetite at the same time, the active ingredient quickly lost its reputation as a "barbie drug". "Brown, slim and sexy thanks to a self-proclaimed miracle cure - that is a dangerous fallacy," emphasized Erika Fink, President of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists. Beauty fanatics have so far been waiting in vain for the market launch of a tested drug with the corresponding approval by the health authorities. Instead, it will not Active substances approved as medicinal products are sold directly on the Internet, without specialist advice from a doctor or pharmacist and always at the user's own risk, although the distribution of the active substance is illegal anyway and punishable under the provisions of the Medicinal Products Act.

Immune system and cardiovascular system are damaged. It is not without reason that German pharmacists warn of the side effects of the tanning agent Melanotan sold on the Internet, because the "barbie drug" can permanently damage the immune system and the cardiovascular system. In addition, the preparation administered in capsules or syringes is suspected of causing vomiting, high blood pressure, reddening of the face and darkening of birthmarks, which makes the diagnosis of skin cancer considerably more difficult, according to the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations. Although the active ingredients Melanotan I and II are only modified products of an endogenous hormone, the artificial supply of the substances can have serious health consequences. (fp, 28.10.2010)

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