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F is for FORGET IT: Just Say NO to "The Barbie Drug" Injectible Tanning Hormone

Stay away from Melanotan II, AKA "The Barbie Drug." An injectible synthetic hormone, it triggers the body's tanning process, and may pose serious health risks. It has NOT been approved by Health Canada or the FDA.
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tanned barbie on the beach

Have you heard of this "Barbie Tan," an injectible, synthetic hormone cocktail that makes your skin tan? Called Melanotan II, it triggers the body's melanin (pigment) production to make skin darken, and it may have some seriously damaging effects.

The drug, which has not been approved by the FDA nor Health Canada for human use, has been around for a few years, available on the Internet for "research purposes." In 2007, the FDA warned the manufacturer, Melanocorp, to stop marketing and selling it illegally as a tanning product. But according to this CBC story, Melanotan II has caught on in BC, and it's been in the UK and Australia for some time, in pill form, too.

Reports indicate that there are too many unknowns surrounding exactly how the drug really affects the body. Some users have reported an increase in the number of moles; some say it boosts sex drive and reduces appetite. And get this: the manufacturers recommend hitting tanning beds once or twice weekly to help colour develop. WTF?

I still have some research to do, but it all seems like a huge and hugely stupid health risk. You can learn more here via this CTV news report.

Are any of you familiar with Melanotan? Know anyone who has used it?

Barbie photo snagged from ThePaleGirl.