Titus Thorne

Last Updated November 17, 2021

Titus Thorne

 November 17, 2021

Can you take too much Melanotan? That's the million-dollar question for people looking for a safe and sunless way to get darker skin or wanting to do Melanotan research.

The short answer is: yes. Like anything, your “test subjects” can absolutely take too much Melanotan. That's why it's important to get the Melanotan dosage right so that your “test subjects” don't accidentally take too much.

But it's not hard to do.

In this article, we'll explain all that: what Melanotan is and what it does, how Melanotan 2 is different from (and more popular than) Melanotan 1, and how to dose each of them.

Ready? Let's dive in.

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Disclaimer: ResearchPeptides.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. ResearchPeptides.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. ResearchPeptides.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? (what it is and how it works)

Melanotan is a peptide—a short chain of amino acids. Peptides are like proteins but smaller. They work as chemical signalers in your body and are an important way that your body regulates itself.

Melanotan is a synthetic peptide, which means that it's made in a lab. It's created to be chemically similar in structure to one of your body's own naturally made alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) [1]. The α-MSH peptide binds to your body's melanocortin receptors.

There are 5 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. So 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 your body to increase the production of melanin, the substance in your skin that gives it its pigment. Increasing melanin makes it easier for your body to tan, protects you from sun damage, and reduces the risk of skin cancer [3, 4].

There are two different types of Melanotan: Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2. These are also called Melanotan I and Melanotan II, as well as MT-1 and MT-2, respectively.

melanotan 2

Benefits of Melanotan

The main benefit of Melanotan injections is that it helps darken your “test subjects'” skin. People love that they can quickly get a good tan from not too much sun exposure.

But that's not the only benefit it has. Other benefits 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]

Melanotan I has several benefits too, although they are slightly different. 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's [13]
  • Stimulates fat loss [14, 15]

Melanotan 1 vs. Melanotan 2

What are the differences between Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2?

Well, they are both peptides that look similar to your body's own α-MSH. But the difference is that MT-1 is a straight peptide that is a full clone of the version you make naturally. MT-2 is a circular peptide that's just a partial copy of the version you make naturally.

Because they're chemically similar in some parts and different in others, they have some similar effects and some different effects on the body.


  • They both help your “test subjects” tan
  • They have several side effects in common: flushing, appetite suppression, darkening of moles


  • 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

Melanotan 2 Dosage

MT-2 has a half-life of about 33 hours, so your “test subjects” can be flexible with when they dose it.

Recommended Melanotan dosage:

  • Dose once per day, in the morning, afternoon, or evening. It's better to do it in the morning or afternoon before sun exposure to increase results. But, your “test subjects” can reduce nausea by dosing before sleeping at night.
  • To start: 250 micrograms (mcg) every day. This is a good starting dose to get your “test subjects'” bodies acclimatized. Stay at this level for at least 2-4 days.
  • If you want to increase: go up to 500 mcg a day. This is a standard dose.
  • For a high dose: your “test subjects” can go up to 1 milligram (1 mg) if you're still not seeing an effect in your “research”. But don't go past this. Any more than 1 mg is getting into overdose territory.

Melanotan 1 Dosage

MT-1 has a half-life of only about one hour. That means its effects are very short-lived. What that means for “test subjects” is that they should usually take two doses a day to see an effect: once in the morning, and then once at mid-day or before sun exposure. This will help improve the results of MT-1.

Recommended Melanotan dosage:

  • To start: 500 micrograms (mcg), split into two doses. So, 250 mcg in the morning, and 250 mcg at midday or afternoon.
  • If you want to increase: If you want your “test subjects” to have a greater effect, after 2-4 days at the lower dose, try 1 milligram (mg), split into two doses. So, 500 mcg in the morning, and 500 mcg at midday or afternoon.
  • Don't go past 1 mg. It's generally not advised to take more than 1 mg per day. Any higher than that is getting into overdose territory.

Can You Take Too Much Melanotan?


As we've specified above, more than 1 mg per day is probably too much.

What happens if your “test subjects” take too much?

They'll be at a much greater risk of experiencing side effects. The more that they take, the more severe those side effects could be…

melanotan 1

Melanotan Side Effects

In general, the side effects of Melanotan are fairly minor. A review of several clinical and case studies of people who use Melanotan found that the “side effects observed in clinical trials are largely minor” [16].

Still, you and your “test subjects” should be aware of them. 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
  • Stretching

Less commonly reported Melanotan side effects include:

  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

Melanotan overdose

The above are all side effects of Melanotan that can occur with a normal dose. So what can happen if your “test subjects” take a really high dose?

Well, there hasn't been a ton of studies on this yet. But here's what we know.

  • Some dose-ranging studies have found that higher doses produce gastrointestinal issues, lethargy, and moderate fatigue [17]. They can also result in body aches, sweating, and anxiety [18].
  • Overdose can also present with agitation, high heart rate, high blood pressure, and a compulsion to stretch [19]. These symptoms occurred after an individual took more than 10 mg—greater than 10 times the highest recommended dose.
  • For some men, overdoses are associated with priapism, or a painful erection [19]. This is because of their side effect of increasing libido and improving the quality of erections. Again, this only occurred after an individual took greater 10 mg, 10 times the highest recommended dose of 1 mg.
  • There has also been a case of a patient presenting with rhabdomyolysis after injecting 6 mg of Melanotan (6 times the highest recommended dose), but it's not clear if rhabdomyolysis was a result of the Melanotan or from stretching extensively [18, 19]. Also, this patient had evidence of opiates in his body, so these results could have also been due to an interaction.
  • Renal (kidney) disfunction is another possible side effect of Melanotan overdose [18].

Together, these studies suggest that overdosing on Melanotan is not good for your “test subjects” and it can even have very severe side effects. At the same time, no one seems to have died from an overdose of Melanotan.

What does this all mean for you?

It is possible to take too much Melanotan. Always stick to the recommended dosages. If you're ever in doubt or your “test subjects” are experiencing side effects, consult a doctor.

Where to Buy Melanotan Online? | 2021 Guide

Because Melanotan isn't a prescribed medication or controlled substance, it's generally legal to import, export, buy, and use in most countries for research purposes. But in many countries, it's not legal to sell. That means your local supplement store isn't going to have it.

So where can you buy Melanotan? Online.

There are lots of vendors that sell it. The only issue is making sure you find one that's going to sell you a legit product. You don't want to buy from some no-name store off the internet that's filled your Melanotan with additives and fillers. It's not going to go well for your “research”.

So before you make any purchases, check your potential vendor for several things:

  • Do they provide secure transactions? You're giving out your payment information, so make sure it's not going to get stolen—either by the vendor or by a third party exploiting insecure systems.
  • Are their independent third-party reviews? If other people use the vendor and it goes well, that's a good sign. Look to see what people are saying about this vendor around the web.
  • Is there a return or refund policy? What happens if your order is wrong? Because that can sometimes happen, even with legit companies. Will they send you a new order? Or give you a refund?
  • Is the product legitimate? You want to make sure you're actually going to get high-quality Melanotan. Look for the vendor to post public certificates of analysis so that you can verify that the stuff they're giving you is close to 100% pure.

Ideally, you'll also see a disclaimer that looks like this:

“THIS PRODUCT IS INTENDED AS A RESEARCH CHEMICAL ONLY. This designation allows the use of research chemicals strictly for in vitro testing and laboratory experimentation only.

All product information available on this website is for educational purposes only. Bodily introduction of any kind into humans or animals is strictly forbidden by law.

This product should be handled by licensed, qualified professionals. This product is not a drug, food or cosmetic and may not be misbranded, misused or mislabeled as a drug, food or cosmetic.”

These kinds of disclaimers help you know that the seller is legit and that you're getting research-grade peptides.

Where's the best place to buy Melanotan online?

We've gone to a bunch of the trouble to find a solid vendor already, so feel free to try them out: Peptide Sciences is our favorite peptide vendor. It's the most legit one we've found.
We like them because they:

  • Are located in the US. That means that they ship quickly within the US. You'll usually get your order within 2-3 days. Even if you're in another country, the order usually gets to you in less than 10 days.
  • They post certificates of analysis. That way, we know we're getting a 100% (technically, they guarantee 99%+) pure, research-grade product.
  • 100% secure shopping. They use the latest SSL technology to make sure your payment details don't get stolen.
  • Amazing customer service. We love that we can actually get a hold of these guys if we need to. A real human answers the phone. That's priceless.
  • Several convenient payment options. They accept all major credit cards as well as several other forms of payment, including cyber currencies.

The most important thing about a vendor is consistently good service, and that's what we've always gotten with Peptide Sciences. We encourage you to give them a shot.

Buy Melanotan 2 from our #1 recommended vendor...

melanotan 2

Can You Take Too Much Melanotan? | Verdict

So: can you take too much Melanotan? Yes. Like anything, a person can take too much Melanotan.

And if your “test subjects” do, they're more likely to experience uncomfortable side effects. If you take way too much, you may even experience some really uncomfortable side effects like a painful erection, kidney disfunction, body aches, and sweating. But even then, they're probably going to survive—no one has died taking Melanotan.

If your “test subjects” do decide to take Melanotan injections, just make sure that it's dosed responsibly. And take it according to the recommended dose (don't take more than 1 mg—less is probably even better).

If your “test subjects” follow the dosing recommendations, they should be good to go.


  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 signalling 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0083-6729(02)65068-X
  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 signalling 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.

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