Titus Thorne

Last Updated March 16, 2023

Titus Thorne

 March 16, 2023

Curious about melanotan 1 in the UK?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

Below, our team of researchers details everything you MUST know about melanotan 1, including…

  • What is melanotan 1?
  • Is melanotan 1 legal in the UK?
  • Where to buy melanotan 1
  • Melanotan 1 benefits
  • Melanotan 1 side effects
  • Melanotan 1 dosage

For citizens and residents of the UK, this is your definitive guide to melanotan 1. 

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Disclaimer: Peptides.org contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. Peptides.org makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. Peptides.org makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.

What is Melanotan 1?

Melanotan 1 (MT-I) is a research peptide that has shown therapeutic potential in a range of contexts.

It is a synthetically produced analog of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), a neuropeptide that acts on the melanocortin system to affect several important physiological processes. These include metabolism, melanin synthesis, immune response, and sexual arousal [1].

Melanotan 1 is a linear tridecapeptide, exhibiting an elongated string of 13 amino acids. It is structurally similar to its parent hormone, also classed as a linear tridecapeptide. However, the fourth and seventh amino acids are altered in melanotan 1, significantly increasing its potency in comparison to endogenous α-MSH. This includes an extended half-life and more targeted interaction with melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R), which primarily stimulates melanogenesis [1, 2].

Initially formulated in the United States during the 1980s for use as a sunless tanning agent, melanotan 1 has since received approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as well as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as a treatment for erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) [3, 4, 5].

In its function as an MC1R agonist, melanotan 1 not only increases rates of melanin production for enhanced skin tanning, but it also acts as a photoprotective agent. Studies indicate further potential applications including immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also under investigation as a prospective treatment for acute photodermatoses such as polymorphic light eruption [1, 6].

Related Peptides

Further α-MSH derivatives are under clinical investigation, namely melanotan 2 (MT-II) and PT-141. Let’s briefly explore these similar peptides [1, 3, 6, 7, 8]:

  • Melanotan 2 is also a melanocortin agonist, though it is structurally and functionally distinct from melanotan 1. It displays a ringed structure and more targeted stimulation of melanocortin receptors 3 and 4, which regulate metabolism and sexual function.
  • PT-141 is a more highly modified derivative of α-MSH that is evidenced to treat low sex drive in both male and female subjects. It currently holds approval in the United States as a treatment for diminished libido in premenopausal women and is under review by the EMA for this purpose.

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Is Melanotan 1 Legal in the UK?

In the UK, as in the United States, melanotan 1 is not a controlled or medically prescribed substance and therefore can be legally sold, purchased, or handled by qualified researchers in educational contexts. Due to its lack of approval by the UK MHRA for marketing as a medicinal product, it is not legally marketable to the public for medical use. Similar restrictions apply within the USA per FDA guidelines [6, 9, 10].

Unfortunately, this has given rise to an illicit and unregulated peptide market in which vendors make erroneous claims about inauthentic products that often present harmful contaminants. Sellers who illegally market unauthorized medical products outside of research settings are subject to legal sanctions, while buyers risk ineffective compounds and potentially dangerous side effects.

Even when it comes to legal pharmaceutical-grade peptide manufacturing, there is a relative lack of regulation and quality control due to the novelty of the field. In response, the EMA has recently proposed updated quality assurance guidelines for large-scale manufacturing of approved peptide therapeutics. These include more efficient guarantors of peptide purity, as well as more stringent directives on how manufacturers define product batches [11].

However, qualified researchers in the UK and many other countries can safely and legally purchase and handle research peptides including melanotan for educational ends. To avoid the pitfalls of an underregulated market and ensure the legality and quality of the peptide retailer, observe the following markers of legitimacy in your peptide source [6, 12]:

  1. The retailer must clearly indicate that peptides are intended strictly for research purposes and available for purchase by qualified persons.
  2. Marketing literature and product indications should make no guarantees or direct claims about the curative benefits of peptide administration.
  3. For assurance of product quality and safety, the retailer should provide test results verifying peptide purity from a third-party laboratory.

Given the dynamic evolution of the field of therapeutic peptides, the legality of melanotan and other research peptides is subject to change with ongoing clinical studies and regulatory approvals. Researchers should monitor ongoing pharmaceutical developments and maintain caution to avoid disreputable marketers of low-quality peptide products.

When sourced from a trusted retailer and correctly handled for educational purposes in clinical settings, melanotan 1 is fully legal for qualified researchers in both the UK and beyond.

Where to Buy Melanotan 1 Online? | UK Edition

In light of the exciting potential of melanotan 1, you may be wondering where to source the highest-grade product for your research. As detailed above, choosing a reputable source is key to both safe and effective peptide analysis.

The team of experts at Peptides.org is happy to present our favorite retailer of premium research peptides.

Peptide Sciences

This vendor is based in the United States and ships easily to most international locations, including the UK! It is widely considered to be the best peptide source in the world among scientific researchers. Why? Let’s explore:

  • The quality of all peptides is guaranteed through domestic production that adheres at all phases to the USA’s Good Manufacturing Practice standards, among the most rigorous in the world. This is executed in collaboration with ISO 9001:2008 and WHO/GMP-approved partners, allowing the manufacture of top-caliber peptides at reasonable prices.
  • Minimum purity levels of 99% on all products are verified through available third-party lab test results, including the industry-standard methods of high performance liquid chromatography (HPCL) and mass spectrometry (MS) analyses.
  • Peptide Sciences offers top-quality peptides at great prices. A 10mg vial of MT-I costs just $49.50, and price reductions are available for bulk purchases.
  • Quick, low-priced international shipping is available for a flat fee, depending on the carrier chosen. All orders are dispatched within 24 hours of placement, and trackable international deliveries arrive rapidly within just 7-10 business days. There are no hidden fees or added costs for international orders.
  • Secure and smooth checkout is available on the vendor’s state-of-the-art website, with customer data protected via advanced SSL encryption technology. Plus, a wide range of payment methods is conveniently accepted, from cryptocurrency to credit cards and most third-party processors.
  • Peptide Sciences offers the best customer service in its commitment to total client satisfaction. An attentive and knowledgeable staff is readily available to respond to all customer queries in just 24-48 hours. Plus, erroneous orders are replaced free of charge, and the website offers top-tier educational content citing strictly peer-reviewed scientific literature.

You can’t beat that! From product quality to pricing, business practices, and customer care, Peptide Sciences rises above global competitors. 

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Melanotan 1 Benefits

Clinical studies have revealed numerous potential benefits of melanotan 1 when correctly handled and administered. The primary evidenced benefits include the following.

Tanning Effects

The main application of MT-I is as a sunless tanning agent. Its stimulation of melanocortin receptor 1 increases melanin production in the skin with minimal exposure to UV light, affecting the rapid tanning of the skin. This reduces the need for extended sun exposure as well as the incidence of sunburn in susceptible individuals, owing to the photoprotective effects of increased dermal melanin [1, 2, 6].

Cognitive Health

MT-I has been linked with improved mental health in subjects undergoing photodynamic therapy for the treatment of cancer. In animal models, it has been shown to counter the effects of cognitive decline from stroke and Alzheimer’s disease [13, 14].

Treatment for Acute Photodermatoses

MT-I has photoprotective benefits in its upregulation of melanin production, offering therapeutic potential in subjects with photosensitivity disorders. It holds EMA and MHRA approval as a treatment for erythropoietic protoporphyria. Ongoing analysis indicates its potential to also treat xeroderma pigmentosum, solar dermatitis, and polymorphic light eruption [1, 5, 15].

In addition to these benefits, melanotan 1 shows potential as an anti-inflammatory agent and acne treatment. It may also improve immune response, sexual function, cardiovascular health, and body composition [6, 16, 17, 18, 19].

Emerging studies are constantly uncovering new areas of potential clinical impact for melanotan 1 and many other cutting-edge peptides. Researchers are advised to regularly survey the current literature for updates on this innovative field.

Melanotan 1 Side Effects

While melanotan 1 has many amazing benefits, researchers should be aware of some possible side effects and a relative lack of data on its long-term safety in human subjects.

Melanotan 1 has an overall positive safety profile, associated with few significant side effects in clinical studies. Data on its long-term effects on humans are unavailable due to its novel status and pending approval from regulating bodies. Available information on short-term side effects is gathered from both human and animal trials.

Several transient adverse effects have been regularly observed in clinical settings. These include [2]:

  • Fatigue
  • Facial flushing
  • Nausea

Side effects that are less common include [20, 21, 22]:

  • Melanocytic nevus
  • Irritation at the administration site
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Priapism

Several of these side effects are observed only in subjects who received subcutaneous MT-I implants. Clinicians advise against the administration of MT-I in patients with symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, especially regarding skin tone. In most cases, the noted side effects subside with cessation of MT-I administration.

Observed side effects are commonly linked with low-grade peptides from disreputable sources. Impure products often contain contaminants with side effects ranging from mild to severe systemic toxicity. Failure to adhere to the standard dosage and administration guidelines is also positively linked with undesirable side effects. For these reasons, researchers should purchase melanotan 1 only from trusted sources and follow best practice directives in peptide handling [6].

Read on to learn more about how to properly incorporate melanotan 1 into your research, including proper dosage, administration, and storage.

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Melanotan 1 Dosage

Here, we will explore the current guidelines on melanotan 1 dosage. Researchers should note that beyond its EMA- and MHRA-approved use to treat EPP, there is no standard dosage for humans to date. However, clinicians have settled upon the following key points in melanotan 1 trials [23, 24, 25]:

  • 1mg per day is widely considered to be the starting therapeutic dose for subcutaneous injection.
  • To avoid side effects, it is advisable to begin with a low dose and slowly increase it.
  • In some clinical trials analyzing the use of melanotan 1 for tanning, daily subcutaneous injections ranged from 0.08mg/kg to 0.16mg/kg over one to four weeks.
  • For enhanced tanning, MT-I injections are paired with regular UV exposure.
  • In several studies on MT-I for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, a therapeutic baseline dose of 0.025 mg/kg was observed.
  • Clinical trials to date have included a wide range of dosage schedules and lengths of use, and long-term trials are pending.

In its approved sale as a prescription treatment for erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), MT-I is applied via a subcutaneous implant. One implant contains 16mg of MT-I and is to be replaced every two months [20].

For its use as a tanning agent administered via subcutaneous injection, melanotan 1 is dosed according to the Fitzpatrick scale, a numeric ranking of skin tone based on phenotype and UV sensitivity. UV-sensitive and fair-skinned subjects often require high doses and see more visible tanning effects with melanotan injections [2, 26].

Bacteriostatic Water and Injections

When administering melanotan 1 and other peptides via injection, it is necessary to first reconstitute peptide powders using a sterile solvent. The preferred solvent among experts is bacteriostatic water.

What is Bacteriostatic Water?

Bacteriostatic water is composed of sterile water and 0.9% benzyl alcohol, an organic bacteriostat that combats bacterial proliferation to reduce the risk of contamination. This natural preservative gives opened vials of bac water a shelf life of up to 28 days, while unopened vials can be stored for up to several years.

It is typically the best solvent when administering peptides, effectively dissolving compounds without diminishing their purity or effectiveness. Solutions made with bacteriostatic water remain uncontaminated for subsequent use when correctly prepared and stored [27, 28, 29].


To properly reconstitute lyophilized melanotan 1 for injection, you will need the following supplies:

  • Vial of bacteriostatic water
  • Vial of lyophilized MT-I
  • Sterile syringe
  • Alcohol wipes
  • It is useful to have extra sterile vials and needles on hand


To correctly reconstitute melanotan 1 for injection, adhere to the following method:

Step 1. Carefully wipe down all materials with alcohol swabs to prevent contamination. This includes the vial tops through which the syringe will be inserted.

Step 2. Insert the sterile syringe into the bac water vial and draw out the desired amount. This is typically around 1mL, depending on the peptide dosage.

Step 3. Slowly insert the bac water into the MT-I vial, allowing it to gradually dissolve.

Step 4. Refrain from shaking or stirring the vial, as this may damage the peptides. It will appear clear when it is fully reconstituted. Sonication can be used to speed the process if available.

Step 5. If the solution does not fully dissolve, you may require a stronger solvent.

Step 6. Excess solutions made with bac water can be refrigerated and accessed for subsequent use for up to 28 days.

Step 7. For exact storage and dosage guidelines, consult product indications.

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Buy Melanotan 1 UK

Melanotan 1 in the UK | Overall

From enhanced tanning to improved cognitive and cardiovascular health, melanotan 1 presents great promise in a range of therapeutic applications. This synthetic melanocortin agonist is a topic of ongoing clinical interest due to its many evidenced benefits and few known side effects.

Researchers residing in the UK can safely and effectively incorporate this exciting compound into their experimentation when it is sourced from a reputable supplier. Our favorite peptide retailer is readily available for UK-based researchers to enjoy the best melanotan 1 the web has to offer.

Buy Melanotan 1 from our #1 recommended vendor...


  1.  Mahiques-Santos L. Melanotan [Melanotan] Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2021 May;103(4):257-9. Spanish. Doi: 10.1016/j.ad.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Nov 1. PMID: 22051769.
  2. Dorr RT, Ertl G, Levine N, Brooks C, Bangert JL, Powell MB, Humphrey S, Alberts DS. Effects of a superpotent melanotropic peptide in combination with solar UV radiation on tanning of the skin in human volunteers. Arch Dermatol. 2004 Jul;140(7):827-35. doi: 10.1001/archderm.140.7.827. PMID: 15262693.
  3. Hadley ME, Dorr RT. Melanocortin peptide therapeutics: historical milestones, clinical studies and commercialization. Peptides. 2006 Apr;27(4):921-30. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2005.01.029. Epub 2006 Jan 18. PMID: 16412534.
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  6. Brennan, R., Wells, J. G., & Van Hout, M. C. (2014). An unhealthy glow? A review of melanotan use and associated clinical outcomes. Performance Enhancement & Health, 3(2), 78–92. doi:10.1016/j.peh.2015.06.001.
  7. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Substance Record for SID 319341034, 189691-06-3, Source: ToxPlanet. Retrieved October 21, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/substance/319341034.
  8. Ema. Medicines for human use under evaluation – european agency [Internet]. European Medicines Agency. 2022 [cited 2022Nov28]. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/medicines-human-use-under-evaluation
  9. Find written questions and answers – UK parliament [Internet]. [cited 2022Nov28]. Available from: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions
  10. Notice of opportunity for hearing (Nooh) manookian, Edward 8/5/16 [Internet]. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA; 2016 [cited 2022Sep23]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/electronic-reading-room/notice-opportunity-hearing-nooh-manookian-edward-8516
  11. Macdonald G. Ema proposes quality guidelines for synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides [Internet]. Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). [cited 2022Nov28]. Available from: https://www.raps.org/news-and-articles/news-articles/2022/9/ema-proposes-quality-guidelines-for-synthetic-pept
  12. Callaghan III, D. J. (2018). A glimpse into the underground market of melanotan. Dermatology Online Journal, 24(5). http://dx.doi.org/10.5070/D3245040036 Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2gz9f9jk
  13. Clinical trials [Internet]. EudraCT Number 2008-002446-39 – Clinical trial results – EU Clinical Trials Register. 2020 [cited 2022Sep27]. Available from: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2008-002446-39/results
  14. Giuliani D, Galantucci M, Neri L, Canalini F, Calevro A, Bitto A, Ottani A, Vandini E, Sena P, Sandrini M, Squadrito F, Zaffe D, Guarini S. Melanocortins protect against brain damage and counteract cognitive decline in a transgenic mouse model of moderate Alzheimer׳s disease. Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Oct 5;740:144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.06.063. Epub 2014 Jul 15. PMID: 25034807.
  15. Clinical trials for 2019-000597-34 [Internet]. Clinical Trials Register. [cited 2022Sep27]. Available from: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/search?query=2019-000597-34
  16. Clinical trials for 2009-018024-15 [Internet]. Clinical Trials Register. [cited 2022Sep27]. Available from: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/search?query=2009-018024-15
  17. Rinne P, Penttinen AM, Nordlund W, Ahotupa M, Savontaus E. α-MSH analogue attenuates blood pressure elevation in DOCA-salt hypertensive mice. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 16;8(8):e72857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072857. PMID: 23977363; PMCID: PMC3745458.
  18. Edling AE, Gomes D, Weeden T, Dzuris J, Stefano J, Pan C, Williams J, Kaplan J, Perricone MA. Immunosuppressive activity of a novel peptide analog of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in experimental autoimmune uveitis. J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jul;236(1-2):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2011.04.015. PMID: 21640392.
  19. An JJ, Rhee Y, Kim SH, Kim DM, Han DH, Hwang JH, Jin YJ, Cha BS, Baik JH, Lee WT, Lim SK. Peripheral effect of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone on fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. J Biol Chem. 2007 Feb 2;282(5):2862-70. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M603454200. Epub 2006 Nov 24. PMID: 17127674.
  20. Highlights of prescribing information [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022Sep27]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/210797s000lbl.pdf
  21. I; CPCGH. Eruptive melanocytic naevi following Melanotan injection [Internet]. The British journal of dermatology. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2022Sep27]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19575725/
  22. Dreyer BA, Amer T, Fraser M. Melanotan-induced priapism: a hard-earned tan. BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Feb 21;12(2):e227644. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2018-227644. PMID: 30796078; PMCID: PMC6388891.
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