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Melanotan 2

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

The Tan in a Bottle Peptide


  • promotes skin tanning without UV

  • increased sexual arousal in men and women, in a study of men with ED who did not respond to Viagra over 80% responded to MT2

  • reduces compulsive behavior

  • controls addiction, studies have found that administration of MT2 significantly reduces binge like intake of addicting substances (alcohol)

  • fights hunger, stimulating the MC-4R receptors caused reduction in apetite as well as changes in the preference of types of foods, in one study of mice signifcantly reduced the preference for fatty foods.

  • reduces glucagon production

  • reverses some effects of autism by stimulating oxytocin release which reduces common autism behaviors.


A subcutaneous injection of 25 mcg is typically administed daily until desired results are achieved, with UV exposure. Side effects include nausea and skin pigmentation. Any skin discolouration (freckles) typically subside after discontinuation.

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Melanotan 2 as a skin darkening agent developed in 1980's at the University of Arizona. It is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone a-melanocyte stimulating hormone. It has been researched as an aid against skin cancer development. MT-II is a cyclic heptapeptide analog of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). This lactam-bridged molecule has the structure Ac-Nle4-Asp5-His6-D-Phe7-Arg8-Trp9-Lys10 alpha-MSH4-10-NH2.

Mechanism of Action

MT2 binds to melanocortin receptors. There are 5 known melanocortin receptors, melanotan 2 binds to MC-1R and MC-4R, while weakly binding to MC-3R. Stimulation of MC-1R causes darkening of hair and skin. Simulation of MC-4R causes changes in feeding and sexual behavior, and also affects energy homeostatsis. MC-3R is involved in apetite control and energy regulation.

In Research

Tanning in humans

Dorr et al. conducted a pilot phase study on Melanotan II, a cyclic heptapeptide analog of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). MT-II has superpotent melanotropic activity in-vitro studies. Using an alternating day single-blind model, where the control group recieved saline and study group (3 male volunteers) recieved MT-II starting at 0.01 mg/kg, subcutaneously. Subjects received injections Monday to Friday (alternating days) for 2 weeks, at which point two subjects increased their dose to 0.03 mg/kg and the last subject by 0.025 mg/kg. Mild nausea was reported with all doses. The higher dose induced mild fatigue in one subject. Spontaneous penile erections were experienced for 1-5 hours depending on dosing. The results included increased pigmentation in the face, upper body and buttocks as measured by quantitive reflectance and visual perception. They recommend the ideal single dose of MT-II is 0.025/mg/kg/day and results are effective even in alternating day sequences.


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