Titus Thorne

Last Updated November 15, 2022

Titus Thorne

 November 15, 2022

Of the many peptides currently under study for their therapeutic potential, melanotan 2 (MT-II) is among the most popular and widely researched.

Melanotan 2 is an α-MSH analog with a range of documented benefits and few side effects. In this article, we will thoroughly explore its many evidenced benefits to date, including its use as a sunless tanning agent and its role in male sexual function.

Read on to learn all you need to know about this compound, including its possible applications and proper usage. Plus, you will discover the most reputable online source for purchasing the highest-grade peptides.

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

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What is Melanotan 2?

Melanotan 2 (MT-II) shows potential in several applications, from sunless tanning to boosting cognitive and sexual health [1, 2, 3].

This synthetic peptide is an analog of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), a melanocortin agonist with various physiological roles. The body’s melanocortin system consists of five different types of receptors that regulate processes such as melanin production, inflammatory response, and sexual function [4, 5].

MT-II has a cyclic truncated form and acts primarily upon melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) and melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R), respectively involved in melanogenesis and the regulation of sexual behavior. It also has some effect on MC3R receptors, which affect metabolism and energy levels [4, 5].

As a synthetic analog of α-MSH, melanotan 2 fulfills similar functions, albeit to a higher degree due to its potency. Though it was initially studied as a sunless tanning agent, clinical analysis has expanded to explore its further potential applications [4, 5].

Related peptides

Additional α-MSH derivatives are also being heavily studied, namely melanotan 1 (MT-I). Though MT-I and MT-II both act on the melanocortin receptors, they have distinct structures and functions. Structurally, MT-1 is long and linear, while MT-II has a circular amino acid arrangement.

A highly modified α-MSH derivative called PT-141 is also found in both research and clinical settings, namely as a treatment for low sex drive [6, 7].

Ongoing investigation indicates numerous beneficial applications of melanotan 2. Read on to learn these and more, including proper dosage, potential side effects, and where to source the best melanotan 2 for your research.


Melonatan 2 Benefits


Melanotan 2 Benefits | The A-Z Guide

Clinical studies have revealed numerous potential benefits of safely administered melanotan 2. Here are some of the most notable benefits to date:

Sunless tanning agent

Melanotan 2 is a potent melanotropic agent, boosting melanin synthesis to visibly darken the skin after several doses. The photoprotective properties of increased melanin also potentially reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancer and sun damage in susceptible individuals, while minimizing the need for UV exposure to obtain the desired tanned appearance. Subcutaneous injection is the preferred method of administration for this purpose [1, 6].

Treatment of symptoms of erectile dysfunction

As a melanocortin 4 receptor agonist, MT-II has been shown to modulate sexual response in both male and female subjects. The melanocortin 3 receptor may also play a role in this action. Its effectiveness in eliciting penile erection in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) is particularly notable. While the exact mechanisms of this function are still under investigation, studies indicate that MT-II powerfully affects sexual arousal through the hypothalamus [3, 8, 9].

Addressing symptoms of autism

At least one animal study has shown MT-II to reduce aberrant behavioral patterns associated with autism, namely poor social responsiveness, repetitive actions, and communication difficulties. This is thought to be achieved through stimulation of the melanocortin 4 receptor, which upregulates cerebral oxytocin, a key hormone in modulating social attunement. Research is ongoing in this context [2].

Reduction of addictive behaviors

MT-II is reportedly associated with decreased alcohol consumption in animal studies, achieved through the hypothalamic activity of the melanocortin 4 receptors. In one study it was shown to reduce alcohol consumption and increase water intake among alcohol-preferring rats. Research indicates that the melanocortin system also plays a role in addictive responses to narcotics such as opioids, cocaine, and amphetamines. Beyond addiction, it may also play a role in regulating impulsive behavior. Continued analysis is underway in this regard [10, 11].

Appetite reduction

MC4R signaling in the hypothalamus is proven to mediate food intake, both reducing the appetite and altering macronutrient preference to reduce fat and sugar consumption in animals. The application of melanotan 2 in this context may have implications for the treatment of obesity, especially in MC4R-deficient subjects who are prone to the disease [12, 13, 14].

Blood sugar regulation

Studies in mice indicate that MT-II’s stimulation of the MC-3 and MC-4 receptors affects blood glucose levels, augmenting insulin sensitivity. In this capacity, it may counter metabolic disease symptoms. Studies are underway to ascertain the full benefits of this application [15].

Improved body composition

Tying into the neuropeptide’s above-mentioned effects on appetite and metabolism, MT-II has been shown to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass in animal studies. MT-II reduces adiposity through both the induction of caloric deficit and inhibiting the retention of subcutaneous and visceral fatty tissue. The role of the melanocortin system in regulating energy expenditure and fat storage is under study for therapeutic applications in both obese and healthy subjects [16, 17].

While this is an impressive list of benefits, it is by no means exhaustive. Emerging research on melanotan 2 continues to uncover new and exciting potential benefits in a range of clinical contexts.


Melanotan 2 Side Effects

There have been some side effects associated with melanotan 2 in clinical trials. Most of these are minor, and studies on long-term side effects are pending. Here we will explore the primary findings.

In one study, three healthy male subjects receiving daily subcutaneous MT-II injections dosed at 0.01 mg/kg variously reported the following side effects during the two-week course of administration [1]:

  • Moderate to severe nausea
  • Repetitive yawning and stretching
  • Spontaneous erections
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

Additional studies have linked MT-II administration with the darkening of pre-existing naevi (moles) and the development of new ones. Other minor effects include [6]:

  • Uneven skin pigmentation
  • Nail pigmentation
  • Facial flushing
  • Headache
  • Alteration of taste

More serious side effects are rare and may include [6]:

  • Acute priapism requiring medical intervention
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hematoma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Melanoma

Clinicians caution against the use of melanotan 2 in subjects with body dysmorphic disorders, particularly as related to skin tone. In many cases, side effects subside with the discontinuation of MT-II and are affected by additional factors such as the use of tanning beds, comorbidities, and drug interactions.

Researchers note that adverse effects are often linked with impure products from disreputable sources as well as improper dosage. Low-grade MT-II products may contain dangerous contaminants that can cause severe systemic toxicity. For these reasons, researchers must purchase MT-II from strictly trusted suppliers and closely adhere to the dosage guidelines put forth by experts [6].

Again, data on the long-term effects of melanotan 2 is unavailable. However, leading clinicians consider it to have a generally favorable safety profile when correctly handled by qualified researchers.


Melonatan 2 Benefits


Melanotan 2 Dosage Guide

Melanotan 2 is not manufactured for human use, so there are no official standard dosage indications at this time [18].

However, qualified researchers have put forth the following melanotan 2 dosage guidelines for sunless tanning [1]:

  • MT-II may be administered through subcutaneous injection with a starting therapeutic dose of 250mcg, increased incrementally to the typical daily dosage of 500mcg.
  • This is considered the optimal dose for beneficial results and manageable side effects. However, it may be subject to variation based on desired therapeutic outcome.
  • Dosing schedules are subject to variation, with durations ranging from one to several weeks. MT-II is not indicated for indefinite use.
  • Researchers should start with a low dose and slowly increase it.
  • For darkening of the skin, MT-II is often administered prior to scheduled tanning times, typically lasting no more than 60 minutes.

Supplies

To properly reconstitute and inject melanotan 2, researchers should have the following supplies:

  • Vial of lyophilized MT-II
  • Vial of bacteriostatic water
  • Sterile syringe
  • Alcohol wipes

Reconstitution

To reconstitute MT-II before injection, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the vial tops and wipe down their surfaces with the alcohol swab to prevent contamination and infection.
  2. Insert the sterile syringe into the vial of bacteriostatic water and withdraw the desired amount, typically 1-2 ml, dependent on the dose.
  3. Slowly inject the bacteriostatic water into the MT-II vial, letting it trickle down the side of the vial and gradually dissolve the powder.
  4. Do not shake or stir the vial, as this can compromise the peptides. The solution will appear clear when it is fully mixed.
  5. Refrigerate the unused solution.

Where to Buy Melanotan 2 Online? | 2022 Guide

Now that we have explored the exciting potential uses of melanotan 2, you may be wondering where to buy it. As mentioned above, it is important to source all research peptides from reputable sources for both safety and efficacy.

We at Peptides.org are pleased to give you our top recommendation for the purchase of Melanotan 2 and other peptides, chosen based on extensive market research:

Peptide Sciences

This online vendor is our top choice for the following reasons:

  • Peptide quality is guaranteed through rigorous third-party lab testing. Purity levels of at least 99% are verified with available lab reports on all peptides sold.
  • This site offers competitive prices on its top-caliber products, with melanotan 2 10mg vials priced at just $49.50. Bulk price breaks are also available!
  • Rapid and low-cost shipping is available within the United States and select overseas destinations. Domestic orders over $200 are shipped for free and arrive within 3 days, while international orders typically take 7-10 business days to arrive, depending on the destination.
  • Easy, secure checkout is offered on the SSL-encrypted site, with a range of payment methods accepted.
  • Clients receive the best customer service from knowledgeable staff, who respond to all email queries within 24-48 hours.

You can’t go wrong when you purchase superior melanotan 2 from Peptide Sciences, the go-to vendor of the scientific community. Don’t just take our word for it!

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Bacteriostatic Water for Injection

When working with Melanotan, researchers must have the required materials. Standards of safety and efficacy in peptide handling call for items such as insulin syringes, sterile vials, and bacteriostatic water.

Are you uncertain of where to get these specialty supplies?

Look no further, as the experts at Peptides.org are excited to give you our top-rated source.

BacteriostaticWater.org

This site garners our highest recommendation with its selection of complete research kits that conveniently supply all of the essential items. When ordering one of the two sets available from BacteriostaticWater.org, researchers avoid the hassle of searching widely for the full range of products from numerous retailers.

Set yourself up properly with the starter research kit, containing:

  • Bacteriostatic Water (30mL) – 3x
  • Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½) – 100x
  • Alcohol Prep Pads – 200x
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL) – 1x
  • Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1) – 10x

Get even more of the essentials with the premium research kit, which provides:

  • Bacteriostatic Water (30mL) – 5x
  • Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½) – 200x
  • Alcohol Prep Pads – 200x
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL) – 2x
  • Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1) – 20x

Take your research to the next level with a curated supply kit from this winning vendor.

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Benefits of Melanotan 2 | Verdict

From sunless tanning to improved body composition, melanotan 2 exhibits great therapeutic potential. The synthetic α-MSH analog has powerful physiological benefits in its effect on the body’s melanocortin system, which plays a vital role in many important biological functions.

Clinical studies to date have demonstrated the peptide’s melanogenic effects. Research also suggests its potential to treat sexual dysfunction in both men and women, significantly reducing symptoms of male erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, MT-II’s modulation of appetite and metabolism exhibits great promise in treating obesity and symptoms of metabolic disease. Plus, the peptide’s regulation of various neurotransmitters suggests its capability to combat cognitive disorders and addiction.

In the burgeoning field of research peptides, new therapeutic applications are constantly emerging. Melanotan 2 stands out as a particularly powerful compound in a range of clinical contexts.


References

  1.  Dorr RT, Lines R, Levine N, Brooks C, Xiang L, Hruby VJ, Hadley ME. Evaluation of melanotan-II, a superpotent cyclic melanotropic peptide in a pilot phase-I clinical study. Life Sci. 1996;58(20):1777-84. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(96)00160-9. PMID: 8637402.
  2. Minakova E, Lang J, Medel-Matus JS, Gould GG, Reynolds A, Shin D, Mazarati A, Sankar R. Melanotan-II reverses autistic features in a maternal immune activation mouse model of autism. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 10;14(1):e0210389. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210389. PMID: 30629642; PMCID: PMC6328175.
  3. Wessells H, Levine N, Hadley ME, Dorr R, Hruby V. Melanocortin receptor agonists, penile erection, and sexual motivation: human studies with Melanotan II. Int J Impot Res. 2000 Oct;12 Suppl 4:S74-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3900582. PMID: 11035391.
  4. King SH, Mayorov AV, Balse-Srinivasan P, Hruby VJ, Vanderah TW, Wessells H. Melanocortin receptors, melanotropic peptides and penile erection. Curr Top Med Chem. 2007;7(11):1098-1106. PMID: 17584130; PMCID: PMC2694735.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. Giuliano F, Clément P, Droupy S, Alexandre L, Bernabé J. Melanotan-II: Investigation of the inducer and facilitator effects on penile erection in anaesthetized rat. Neuroscience. 2006;138(1):293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.11.008. Epub 2005 Dec 19. PMID: 16360286.
  9. Ückert S, Bannowsky A, Albrecht K, Kuczyk MA. Melanocortin receptor agonists in the treatment of male and female sexual dysfunctions: results from basic research and clinical studies. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2014 Nov;23(11):1477-83. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2014.934805. Epub 2014 Aug 6. PMID: 25096243.
  10. York DA, Boghossian S, Park-York M. Melanocortin activity in the amygdala influences alcohol intake. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Mar;98(1):112-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.12.010. Epub 2010 Dec 15. PMID: 21167196.
  11. Lerma-Cabrera JM, Carvajal F, Garbutt JC, Navarro M, Thiele TE. The melanocortin system as a potential target for treating alcohol use disorders: A review of pre-clinical data. Brain Res. 2020 Mar 1;1730:146628. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2019.146628. Epub 2019 Dec 28. PMID: 31891691; PMCID: PMC7023989.
  12. Bjørbaek C, Hollenberg AN. Leptin and melanocortin signaling in the hypothalamus. Vitam Horm. 2002;65:281-311. doi: 10.1016/s0083-6729(02)65068-x. PMID: 12481551.
  13. van der Klaauw A, Keogh J, Henning E, Stephenson C, Trowse VM, Fletcher P, Farooqi S. Role of melanocortin signalling in the preference for dietary macronutrients in human beings. Lancet. 2015 Feb 26;385 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S12. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60327-0. PMID: 26312834; PMCID: PMC6548551.
  14. Lee, Yung Seng. (2009). The Role of Leptin-Melanocortin System and Human Weight Regulation: Lessons from Experiments of Nature. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 38. 34-11.
  15. Heijboer AC, van den Hoek AM, Pijl H, Voshol PJ, Havekes LM, Romijn JA, Corssmit EP. Intracerebroventricular administration of melanotan II increases insulin sensitivity of glucose disposal in mice. Diabetologia. 2005 Aug;48(8):1621-6. doi: 10.1007/s00125-005-1838-8. Epub 2005 Jun 22. PMID: 15971058.
  16. Strader AD, Shi H, Ogawa R, Seeley RJ, Reizes O. The effects of the melanocortin agonist (MT-II) on subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue in rodents. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Sep;322(3):1153-61. doi: 10.1124/jpet.107.123091. Epub 2007 Jun 13. PMID: 17567964.
  17. Côté I, Sakarya Y, Kirichenko N, Morgan D, Carter CS, Tümer N, Scarpace PJ. Activation of the central melanocortin system chronically reduces body mass without the necessity of long-term caloric restriction. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017 Feb;95(2):206-214. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2016-0290. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PMID: 28051332; PMCID: PMC5572812.
  18. 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

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