Titus Thorne

Last Updated March 15, 2023

Titus Thorne

 March 15, 2023

Curious about Melanotan injections?

This guide will outline the main safety concerns and side effects associated with Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2. 

Below, researchers will gain a complete overview of how Melanotan has been dosed in past experiments and trials and the benefits and side effects associated with it. 

Let’s go!

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What is Melanotan?

Melanotan is a peptide that is structurally similar to a naturally occurring peptide called alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) [1]. Because it's an α-MSH analog, Melanotan can bind to the same receptors that α-MSH does and help regulate certain bodily functions [2].

Melanotan’s primary function is to upregulate melanogenesis—the process of creating melanin. The amount of Melanotan in the skin affects skin pigmentation and the rate at which a person tans. More Melanotan darkens the skin and makes tanning easier.

But because there are several receptors that it can bind to, Melanotan has several different effects. We'll cover those in the benefits section below.


Melanotan 1 vs. Melanotan 2

Melanotan has two main types: Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2 [3]. Both types are analogous to α-MSH, they just differ in their structure slightly.

Melanotan 1 is a longer, straight peptide. It darkens skin without the sun and has fewer side effects than melanotan II [3]. But it is more expensive and less popular with researchers.

Melanotan 2 is a shorter, circular peptide.  It effectively darkens the skin by making tanning more effective. It also has other effects that Melanotan 1 doesn't have, such as decreasing appetite and increasing sexual function.

MT-2 is by far the most common and popular type of Melanotan that researchers work with, so that's what we'll focus on in this article.

Melanotan Benefits

Melanotan II has been found to offer several benefits. These include:

  • Tanning, reductions in burns, and increased protection from the sun [3, 4, 5].
  • Increases in sexual arousal and improving erectile function [1, 2, 3, 6, 7]
  • Controlling addictive and compulsive behaviors [8].
  • Reducing appetite [9, 10, 11]
  • Reversing some autistic features [12]
  • Regulating blood sugar [13]
  • Minimizing the time spent in the sun absorbing harmful UV rays

In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some common Melanotan benefits. 

Melanotan Side Effects

Researchers actively considering experimenting with Melanotan should note that it has been linked with the following side effects [1, 3]:

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

The consensus among researchers is that the adverse effects of Melanotan are quite minor. One review of clinical research on Melanotan concluded that “Side effects observed in clinical trials [of Melanotan] are largely minor.” [3].

melanotan 1

Melanotan Injections | What Researchers MUST Know

Researchers considering working with Melanotan may be curious about Melanotan injections. Here's what researchers must know before working with this peptide.

Skin Types

Past studies have dosed Melanotan according to the skin type of the test subjects. The Fitzpatrick skin chart separates people into the following six different skin types:

  • Skin Type 1 – Very fair skin tone. Prone to burns, difficulty tanning.
  • Skin Type 2 – Fair skin tone. Prone to burns, but can develop a slight tan over the summer.
  • Skin Type 3 – Medium skin tone. Burns with intense sun exposure. Generally tans fairly well.
  • Skin Type 4 – Olive skin tone. Rarely burns, always tans well.
  • Skin Type 5 – Brown skin tone. Never burns, generally tans well.
  • Skin Type 6 – Definite pigmentation. Never burns, tans very easily.

Past trials have shown that test subjects with skin types 1 or 2 may need a higher dose of Melanotan for a longer time than subjects with skin types 3-6. Subjects with skin types 3 through 6 may require lower Melanotan doses. 

Data from previous studies tells us that MT-2 produces the most dramatic results when administered to test subjects with skin types 1, 2, and 3, compared with subjects with skin types 4, 5, and 6. 

Melanotan Dosage

Researchers actively researching Melanotan can consult data from past studies for specific doses[3]: 

  • Starting dose: 250 micrograms (mcg). Based on existing research, 0.25 milligrams (mg) is considered a low, or “starting” dose that test subjects have received for 2-4 days. In some studies, subjects with skin types 3-6 have remained on this dose for the duration of the study. 
  • Standard dose: 500 mcg. Existing trial data shows us that 0.5 mg is considered a standard dose. 
  • High dose: 1 mg. There is no evidence that Melanotan has been administered at doses higher than 1 mg in past trials or experiments. 

Loading Dose vs. Maintenance

Looking at data from past studies, we can see that some researchers have differentiated between a “loading dose” during which time test subjects may be adjusting to the effects of Melanotan and a “maintenance dose” when they are used to its effects [3]. 

Loading phase: Past trials have involved one Melanotan dosage of 0.5 mg every day, with three tanning sessions a week.

Maintenance phase: In some trials, the “loading phase” is replaced by a dose of 500 mcg every 3 or 4 days, followed by a single tanning session.

Melanotan Injections vs. Nasal Spray

In most trials conducted to date, Melanotan has been injected but some researchers have administered it via a nasal spray [3]. While there is strong research interest in the differences between Melanotan injections vs. Melanotan nasal sprays, no published figures exist to indicate how these two delivery methods compare [3]. 

Subcutaneous Melanotan 2 Injections vs. Intramuscular Injections

Past research involving Melanotan shows that while this peptide can be injected either subcutaneously (into fatty tissue under the skin) or intramuscularly (directly into a muscle), subcutaneous injections are more common [3]. Shortcomings in clinical reporting limit the knowledge base on Melanotan administration and there is no known research that directly compares subcutaneous and intramuscular Melanotan injections. 


In past studies, most researchers have used insulin syringes to deliver Melanotan injections [3]. The short, thin dimensions of these needles make them ideal for subcutaneous injections.  

Reconstituting Melanotan

When purchased as a reference material, Melanotan 2 is typically packaged as a freeze-dried powder resembling small chunks or pellets. This powder must be reconstituted with sterile water prior to injection. Researchers unfamiliar with this process may consult the following guide: 

  1. Researchers may remove the top of the Melanotan vial and swab the rubber stopper with alcohol to sterilize it.
  2. The top of the bacteriostatic water may be removed and the rubber stopper can be swabbed with alcohol.
  3. Researchers can insert the syringe into the vial of water, turn it upside down, and then withdraw 1 or 2 mL of water.
  4. The water can be injected into the vial of Melanotan and left for a few hours (or refrigerated overnight) until the powder fully dissolves.

Calculating Melanotan doses

Researchers can consult the following guidelines to calculate Melanotan doses. 

With a 1 mL syringe (100 units), 10 mg vial of Melanotan, and 1 mL of sterile or bacteriostatic water, here are the dose calculations:

  • 250 mcg (0.25 mg) = 3 units
  • 500 mcg (0.5 mg) = 5 units
  • 750 mcg (0.75 mg) = 8 units
  • 1,000 mcg(1 mg) = 10 units

With a 1 mL syringe (100 units), 0 mg vial of Melanotan, and 2 mL of sterile or bacteriostatic water, here are the dose calculations:

  • 250 mcg (0.25 mg) = 5 units
  • 500 mcg (0.5 mg) = 10 units
  • 750 mcg (0.75 mg) = 15 units
  • 1,000 mcg(1 mg) = 20 units

Choosing an Injection Spot

In past studies, Melanotan has been administered to test subjects in the stomach, legs, and buttocks. 

Storing Melanotan

Researchers will note that Melanotan can be stored in the following ways. 


  • At room temperature (21 – 24 degrees Celsius or 70 – 75 Fahrenheit) for up to 12 months
  • Refrigerated (2 – 8C or 70 – 75F) for 48 months
  • iI the freezer (< -18C or < 0F) for 48+ months

Reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water

  • At room temperature for up to 2 months
  • Refrigerated for 48 months
  • Should not be frozen

Researchers should keep in mind that bacteriostatic water itself expires and reconstituted Melanotan should not be stored longer than the shelf life of the water. For example, if the water expires in 2 months, the reconstituted Melanotan should be used within this time frame.

Where to Buy Melanotan Online? | 2023 Guide

Researchers interested in experimenting with Melanotan may be wondering where to buy Melanotan online

Our preferred vendor is Peptide Sciences: it's the best place to buy Melanotan online. Peptide Sciences offers:

    • 99%+ pure product so researchers know what they are getting
    • Third-party lab results to prove their peptides are research-grade
    • Cheap, fast shipping
    • Great customer service
    • Secure, convenient payment options

Researchers in need of Melanotan for further experiments are advised to contact Peptide Sciences.

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Bacteriostatic Water for Injection

Every researcher needs quality tools to successfully carry out their analyses. This is particularly pertinent when studying research peptides like Melanotan 1.

To adhere to safety and quality standards, peptide handlers should have items like bacteriostatic water, insulin syringes, and sterile vials for reconstitution, administration, and storage.

Don’t let the search for all these products interfere with your research! We at Peptides.org have searched to find a simple answer to your research material requirements.


This trusted site equips you with the essentials in two available research supply kits. Rather than having to shop around for all the necessary items, clients of BacteriostaticWater.org conveniently receive complete supply sets with every order.

The provider’s starter research kit is an excellent option, 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

If you require a bit more, try the premium research kit, which has:

  • 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

Set yourself up for success with a quality research supply kit from our preferred online retailer.

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Injecting Melanotan | Verdict

Hopefully, researchers curious about Melanotan safety concerns and side effects have found the answers they were looking for in this guide. Comparatively little is known about the benefits and side effects of this research chemical, and there are many avenues that researchers may choose to explore.   

Researchers interested in experimenting with this research chemical may contact Peptide Sciences for their research needs.

melanotan 1


  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Minakova, E., Lang, J., Medel-Matus, J. S., Gould, G. G., Reynolds, A., Shin, D., … & Sankar, R. (2019). Melanotan-II reverses autistic features in a maternal immune activation mouse model of autism. PloS one, 14(1), e0210389.
  13. 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.

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