Last Updated February 27, 2024

 February 27, 2024

Can test subjects take too much Melanotan? That's the question on the minds of researchers considering experimenting with this reference material. 

The short answer is…


Researchers absolutely can take too much Melanotan. That's why researchers need to consult the relevant literature when designing Melanotan experiments and plan accordingly. 

This comprehensive review will outline what Melanotan is and how it works, the benefits it offers, and the side effects it causes. The differences between Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2 will also be outlined, as well as how they have been dosed in past trials and studies. 

Ready? Let's dive in.

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Disclaimer: 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. Likewise, any published information relative to the dosing and administration of reference materials is made available strictly for reference and shall not be construed to encourage the self-administration or any human use of said reference materials. 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. 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? 

Melanotan is a synthetic peptide – a short chain of amino acids. Peptides are like proteins but smaller. They work as chemical messengers in the body and help the body regulate itself.

Melanotan was created to be chemically similar in structure to the naturally occurring hormone alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) [1], which binds to the body's melanocortin receptors.

There are a total of five different melanocortin receptors, and each has a different function [2]. MC-1 is involved in darkening hair and skin, which is the main effect of melanotan injections. But the other receptors are important too: MC-3 is involved in the regulation of appetite and fat burning, and MC-4 is involved in the regulation of sexual function. That's why some of the effects of Melanotan include fat burning and increased libido [1, 2].

When melanotan binds to the MC-1 receptor, it stimulates the body to increase the production of melanin, the substance in the skin that gives it its pigment. Increasing melanin makes it easier for the body to tan, protects skin cells from Sun damage, and reduces the risk of certain types of skin cancer [3, 4]. Because it stimulates melanocyte growth, however, there is a strong rationale to be concerned that, over time, use of the same peptide might lead to the worst type of skin cancer, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM).

There are two different types of melanotan: melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2. These are also referred to as melanotan I and melanotan II, or MT-1 and MT-2, respectively.

In the next section, we will outline the main benefits of melanotan.

can you take too much melanotan

Benefits of Melanotan

Past studies have shown that the main effect of melanotan is that they darken skin and increase the rate at which tanning occurs [2].

The other documents effects of melanotan II include:

  • Reducing hunger, burning fat, and reducing appetite for fatty foods [5, 6, 7].
  • Regulating blood sugar [8]
  • Impulse control [9]
  • Reducing addictive behaviors [10]
  • Increasing libido and improving erectile function [11]

Studies have shown that melanotan I appears to offer several effects too, although they are slightly different from those observed with MT-2. The benefits of Melanotan I include:

  • Sunless tanning and improved protection from the sun [4]
  • May protect against high blood pressure [12]
  • May protect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease [13]
  • Stimulates fat loss [14, 15]

In the following section, we will explore the differences between MT-1 and MT-2 in greater detail.

Melanotan 1 vs. Melanotan 2

What are the differences between Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2?

Well, both MT-1 and MT-2 are peptides that mimic the effects of naturally occurring α-MSH. The main difference is that MT-1 is a straight peptide that is a full clone of endogenous α-MSH while MT-2 is a circular peptide that's just a partial copy of the version made naturally in the body.

Because MT-1 and MT-2 are chemically similar in some regards and different in others, the effects they produce offer some similarities and some differences.


Some of the similarities between MT-1 and MT-2 include:

  • They both appear to increase the rate at which tanning occurs.
  • They have several side effects in common, including flushing, appetite suppression, and darkening of moles.


Some of the differences between MT-1 and MT-2 include:

  • MT-1 tends to have fewer side effects than MT-2
  • MT-1 doesn't result in increased libido; MT-2 does.
  • MT-1 has a much shorter half-life than MT-2
  • MT-1 is FDA approved as a prescription medication for a disease where people become extra sensitive to sunlight
  • MT-1 is more expensive than MT-2
  • MT-1 is less popular than MT-2
  • MT-1 is less easily available than MT-2

Having reviewed the main similarities and differences between MT-1 and MT-2 we will now outline how these research chemicals have been dosed in past studies and trials.

Melanotan 2 Dosage

Data from past studies indicate that MT-2 is typically administered once per day. Its long half-life of about 33 hours means that researchers have been flexible with when the doses are administered.

How has Melanotan 2 Been Dosed in Past Studies?

Based on the available evidence, Melanotan 2 has been dosed in past studies in the following manner:

  • Once per day, in the morning, afternoon, or evening: Most researchers have administered MT-2 in the morning or afternoon before sun exposure to increase results. However, research shows that dosing in the evening can reduce nausea among test subjects.
  • Dose: Most studies have involved 250 micrograms (mcg) doses of MT-2 every day, at least for the first 2-4 days. Some studies have involved doses of 500 mcg/day up to 1 mg/day.

While there is no research to show that MT-2 has been dosed over 1 mg/day, further research is needed to assess the safety record of doses in the 1mg+/day range.

Melanotan 1 Dosage

Data from past studies shows that MT-1 has typically been administered twice per day. This is likely due to the fact that MT-1 has a much shorter half-life than MT-2 at around 1 hour and its effects are much more short-lived.

How has Melanotan 1 Been Dosed in Past Studies?

Based on the available evidence, Melanotan 1 has been dosed in past studies in the following manner:

  • Twice per day, in the morning and at midday: In the majority of studies involving MT-1, researchers have administered it twice per day; once in the morning and once at lunch.
  • Dose: Most MT-1 studies have involved 500 micrograms (mcg) doses with the dose being split between a morning and afternoon dose.

Having reviewed the available research into MT-1 and MT-2 doses, it is clear that researchers have adopted a cautious approach when working with this peptide. This leads us to the question at hand; can test subjects take too much Melanotan?

Can Test Subjects Take Too Much Melanotan?


As we've explained above, doses in excess of 1 mg per day are rare in past studies.

What happens when test subjects take this amount?

The available research indicates that they will be at a much greater risk of experiencing side effects. The severity of MT-1 and MT-2 side effects appears to increase in proportion with the dose.

On the subject of side effects, we will take a close look at MT-1 and MT-2 side effects in the following section.

Melanotan Side Effects

Past research involving Melanotan indicates that it produces a few relatively minor side effects. A review of several clinical and case studies of people who use Melanotan concluded that the “side effects observed in clinical trials are largely minor” [16].

Still, researchers should be aware of these side effects before experimenting with Melanotan. The most common side effects of Melanotan include [1]:

  • Flushing
  • Nausea
  • Darkening of moles
  • Yawning
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increase in libido and erections
  • Facial hair darkening

Less commonly reported Melanotan side effects include:

  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

Melanotan Overdose

There is a distinct lack of research indicating what dose of Melanotan could be considered an “overdose”. However, there are certainly a number of side effects linked to high Melanotan doses:

  • Some dose-ranging studies have found that higher doses of Melanotan produce gastrointestinal issues, lethargy, and moderate fatigue [17]. They can also result in body aches, sweating, and anxiety [18].
  • Symptoms of overdose include agitation, high heart rate, high blood pressure, a compulsion to stretch, and priapism, or a painful erection [19]. These symptoms occurred after an individual took more than 10 mg – more than 10 times the highest dose explored in scientific studies.
  • There has also been a case of a patient presenting with rhabdomyolysis after injecting 6 mg of Melanotan, six times the recommended dosage of that particular formulation [18]. To be sure, this patient had evidence of opiates in his body, so these results could have also been due to an interaction. Renal (kidney) dysfunction is another possible side effect of Melanotan overdose [18].

Together, these studies suggest that experimenting with doses in excess of 1 mg may produce very severe side effects in test subjects. To date, there have been no recorded incidences of coma or death arising from Melanotan use.

can you take too much melanotan

Where to Buy Melanotan Online? | 2024 Edition

An inescapable problem facing peptide researchers is finding a reliable vendor who can supply research-grade peptides in a timely fashion.

To assist the community, the team has placed small test orders with a number of research peptide suppliers and rated them according to factors like quality, prices, shipping times, and customer service.

Based on our extensive survey, we confidently recommend the following vendor.

Xcel Peptides

We trust Xcel Peptides for purchases of melanotan 1 and melanotan 2, along with a host of other research peptides.

Here’s where this vendor shines:

  • Research-Grade Melanotan: The quality of all peptides is guaranteed through domestic production that adheres at all phases to Good Manufacturing Practice standards, among the most rigorous in the world.
  • Secure & Smooth Buying: Quick 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 credit cards to Venmo.
  • Support, Service, and Care: Xcel Peptides offers the best service in its commitment to total researcher satisfaction. An attentive and knowledgeable staff is readily available to respond to all queries in just 24-48 hours.

Researchers interested in experimenting with melanotan 1 and 2 are well-advised to consider this vendor for their research needs.

Buy research peptides from Xcel Peptides today...

Bacteriostatic Water for Melanotan

Researchers must be equipped with the right tools to handle peptides such as Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2.

To correctly prepare and store peptides, supplies including bacteriostatic water, alcohol swabs, and more should be available.

Generally, a research may need reference materials like:

  • Bacteriostatic Water (30mL)
  • Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½)
  • Alcohol Prep Pads
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL)
  • Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1)

As a researcher, sourcing reference materials and supplies to conduct study is something familiar. As such, we do not make recommendations on where to source these items.

However, they are necessary to start the research study and should be accounted for.

Can Test Subjects Take Too Much Melanotan? | Verdict

So, can test subjects take too much Melanotan?

Based on the available research, the answer appears to be yes. Test subjects who take more than 1mg/day of Melanotan are more likely to experience uncomfortable side effects. Those who take significantly more may experience serious side effects like a painful erection, kidney dysfunction, body aches, and sweating.

Researchers interested in experimenting with MT-1 and MT-2 are advised to consult the relevant literature when designing an experiment and follow best practices when working with this peptide.

Those looking for a trustworthy Melanotan vendor are encouraged to contact our preferred vendor.


  1. Plant, T. M. & Zeleznik, A. J. (2014). Knobil and Neill's Physiology of Reproduction: Two-Volume Set. Academic Press. pp. 2230–2231.
  2. King, S. H., Mayorov, A. V., Balse-Srinivasan, P., Hruby, V. J., Vanderah, T. W., & Wessells, H. (2007). Melanocortin receptors, melanotropic peptides and penile erection. Current topics in medicinal chemistry, 7(11), 1111-1119.
  3. Barnetson, R. S., Ooi, T. K., Zhuang, L., Halliday, G. M., Reid, C. M., Walker, P. C., … & Kleinig, M. J. (2006). [Nle4-D-Phe7]-α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone significantly increased pigmentation and decreased UV damage in fair-skinned caucasian volunteers. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 126(8), 1869-1878.
  4. FitzGerald, L. M., Fryer, J. L., Dwyer, T., & Humphrey, S. M. (2006). Effect of MELANOTAN®, [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH, on melanin synthesis in humans with MC1R variant alleles. Peptides, 27(2), 388-394.
  5. van der Klaauw, A., Keogh, J., Henning, E., Stephenson, C., Trowse, V. M., Fletcher, P., & Farooqi, S. (2015). Role of melanocortin signalingsignalling in the preference for dietary macronutrients in human beings. The Lancet, 385, S12.
  6. Lee, Y. S. (2009). The role of leptin-melanocortin system and human weight regulation: lessons from experiments of nature. Annals Academy of Medicine Singapore, 38(1), 34.
  7. Bjørbæk, C., & Hollenberg, A. N. (2002). Leptin and melanocortin signaling in the hypothalamus. Vitamins and Hormones, 65, 281-311.
  8. Guo, F., Bakal, K., Minokoshi, Y., & Hollenberg, A. N. (2004). Leptin signaling targets the thyrotropin-releasing hormone gene promoter in vivo. Endocrinology, 145(5), 2221-2227.
  9. York, D. A., Boghossian, S., & Park-York, M. (2011). Melanocortin activity in the amygdala influences alcohol intake. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 98(1), 112-119.
  10. Wessells, H., Fuciarelli, K., Hansen, J., Hadley, M. E., Hruby, V. J., Dorr, R., & Levine, N. (1998). Synthetic melanotropic peptide initiates erections in men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction: double-blind, placebo controlled crossover study. The Journal of Urology, 160(2), 389-393.
  11. Hakim, L. S. (1998). Synthetic melanotropic peptide initiates erections in men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction: Double-blind placebo controlled crossover study. International Journal of Impotence Research, 10(4), 263-263.
  12. Rinne, P., Penttinen, A. M., Nordlund, W., Ahotupa, M., & Savontaus, E. (2013). α-MSH analogue attenuates blood pressure elevation in DOCA-salt hypertensive mice. PloS one, 8(8), e72857.
  13. Giuliani, D., Neri, L., Canalini, F., Calevro, A., Ottani, A., Vandini, E., … & Guarini, S. (2015). NDP-α-MSH induces intense neurogenesis and cognitive recovery in Alzheimer transgenic mice through activation of melanocortin MC4 receptors. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 67, 13-21.
  14. An, J. J., Rhee, Y., Kim, S. H., Kim, D. M., Han, D. H., Hwang, J. H., … & Lim, S. K. (2007). Peripheral effect of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone on fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(5), 2862-2870.
  15. Møller, C. L., Raun, K., Jacobsen, M. L., Pedersen, T. Å., Holst, B., Conde-Frieboes, K. W., & Wulff, B. S. (2011). Characterization of murine melanocortin receptors mediating adipocyte lipolysis and examination of signalingsignalling pathways involved. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 341(1-2), 9-17.
  16. 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.
  17. Levine, N., Dorr, R. T., Ertl, G. A., Brooks, C., & Alberts, D. S. (1999). Effects of a potent synthetic melanotropin, Nle4-D-Phe7-α-MSH (Melanotan-I) on tanning: a dose-ranging study. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 10(2), 127-132.
  18. Nelson, M. E., Bryant, S. M., & Aks, S. E. (2012). Melanotan II injection resulting in systemic toxicity and rhabdomyolysis. Clinical Toxicology, 50(10), 1169-1173.
  19. Devlin, J., Pomerleau, A., & Foote, J. (2013). Melanotan II overdose associated with priapism. Clinical Toxicology, 51(4), 383.

Scientifically Fact Checked by:

David Warmflash, M.D.

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