Socio-cultural emphasis on having a tan has led to blackmarket diversion of synthetic-tanning products Melanotan I and II. This review of literature on clinical outcomes of Melanotan I and II aims to present extant literature on synthetic-tanning and its range of effects.A review was conducted according to The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP). A database search was conducted to identify relevant publications. Clinical trials and clinical case presentations relating to melanotan use were included. Publications not in English and with a lack of specificity to the topic were excluded.The review yielded eighteen clinical trials and twenty-one clinical case presentations. Side effects observed include nausea, darkening of existing naevi and yawning. Systemic toxidrome and melanoma have also been evidenced. Potential harms include bloodborne virus, infection and contaminated and mislabelled products. Shortcomings in clinical reporting have limited determinations of causality in diagnoses.Side effects observed in clinical trials are largely minor. Long-term health outcomes are as yet undocumented. Much of the harms related to melanotan use are associated with online sourcing of unregulated products. A systematic approach to clinical case reporting is needed in melanotan associated adverse health outcomes. The counterfeit PIEDs market and polypharming practices amongst users must be considered in reports of harm.This review makes recommendations to inform enhanced clinical responses, and has underscored the need for future Internet and clinical research to investigate prevalence and user profiling, and to map health outcomes in melanotan users.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.