Melanotan II has reported toxicity effects from therapeutic and overdose exposures including: renal dysfunction, rhabdomyolysis, sympathomimetic overdrive, change in size and pigmentation of pre-existing moles, rapid increase in the number of new moles associated with causing melanomas, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, refractory priapism, stretching and yawning syndrome, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal cramping and pain, dizziness and lethargy. XXXXXX alone has received 28 calls about melanotan II since 2006.
In addition to its intracellular role as the major actin-sequestering molecule in cells of many multicellular animals, thymosin β4 shows a remarkably diverse range of effects when present in the fluid surrounding animal tissue cells. Taken together, these effects suggest that thymosin has a general role in tissue regeneration. This has suggested a variety of possible therapeutic applications, and several have now been extended to animal models and human clinical trials.
Double immunofluorescent staining for BrdU (red, A) and NeuN (green, B) to identify newborn neurons (yellow after merge, C) in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus from rats examined 35 days after TBI. Micrographs (D) show location of DiI injection in the CA3 region (indicated by white asterisk). In the CA3 region, axons projected from granule neurons in the dentate gyrus will take up injected DiI to their cell bodies. Co-localization (merge, H) of BrdU-positive nuclei (green, F) within retrogradely DiI labeled (red, E) granule cells were examined at 35 days after TBI. Scale bar = 25 μm (C, H). Scale bar = 50 μm (D).
Half the group of burned volunteers got a whiff of Eau de Oxytocin, half got a sniff of Eau de Placebo. Those who sniffed the oxytocin were more trusting and ready to invest with an anonymous trustee a second time than were the placebo-exposed subjects. And when they were asked “Do you want to try this again?” the oxytocin-treated volunteers responded more quickly than the volunteers who hadn’t gotten the nose full of Trust Spray.6
Letdown reflex in lactating (breastfeeding) mothers, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands, causing milk to be 'let down' into a collecting chamber, from where it can be extracted by sucking at the nipple. Sucking by the infant at the nipple is relayed by spinal nerves to the hypothalamus. The stimulation causes neurons that make oxytocin to fire action potentials in intermittent bursts; these bursts result in the secretion of pulses of oxytocin from the neurosecretory nerve terminals of the pituitary gland.
At least one study using an extract of Griffonia simplicifolia (10.24mg giving 2.56mg 5-HTP; confounded with Centella asiatica and Taraxacum officinale at 11.7mg and 4.55mg Paulina cupana and 9.75mg Artichoke extract) taken in three hits, five times a day (40mg 5-HTP total), by 20 overweight or obese females (non-depressive and without eating disorders) for 4 weeks has noted an increase in satiety and reduced binge eating tendencies; the increase in satiety was said to account for the improved weight loss results seen in the experimental group when both were given weight loss advice and diets. This spray has been noted elsewhere to increase satiety (and vicariously through that, body weight) over 2 months in a similar demographic of women.
Obviously nobody is suggesting coming off your medication, and for many cases of depression and anxiety, a course of SSRIs and/or CBT can be life-saving. For me, during a period of bad anxiety, when I was torn between the idea of going back on antidepressants or not, I began searching for some sort of alternative aid online and soon came across a video of Jim Carrey. Carrey has struggled with depression for the majority of his adult life; he's a classic case of the sad clown. "I take... supplements," he tells Larry King in the clip I found. "Vitamins?" asks King. Not quite, but not far off either. A natural substance called 5-HTP. "It's a wonderful thing," Carrey smiles. "It's amazing." His description of how 5-HTP worked made it sound like a super-drug, a cure-all. All it would take for me would be an anonymous trip to Holland and Barrett and 15 quid. Like every other young person, I knew it as a quick fix for MDMA comedowns, but never considered buying it as a medication replacement. Obviously for severe depression and anxiety, a serious course of SSRIs or cognitive behavioural therapy would be more appropriate. But at this point, I was ready for something to ease the transition.
A Risk Quiz; Let’s say you are one of the volunteers to whom researchers gave $100, and this option: you can either keep the money, or give it to an anonymous trustee who will either invest it and double it to $200 and return half of the extra hundred bucks to you–$50–or keep all the money for herself. So you can either increase your money by 50%, or lose it all. What would you do? Would you trust that anonymous trustee? (Remember Loss Aversion from Chapter Two, where in a similar experiment most people decided to avoid the gamble and take the sure cash.)
Melanotan II is a synthetic hormone that speeds up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. It was originally developed as a potential treatment for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, but this research ceased in 2003. In technical terms, Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Today, there are numbers of sellers on the internet of unlicensed and untested powders sold as Melanotan II.
^ Jump up to: a b Takayanagi Y, Yoshida M, Bielsky IF, Ross HE, Kawamata M, Onaka T, Yanagisawa T, Kimura T, Matzuk MM, Young LJ, Nishimori K (November 2005). "Pervasive social deficits, but normal parturition, in oxytocin receptor-deficient mice". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 102 (44): 16096–101. Bibcode:2005PNAS..10216096T. doi:10.1073/pnas.0505312102. PMC 1276060. PMID 16249339.
Oral 5-HTP results in an increase in urinary 5-HIAA, a serotonin metabolite, indicating that 5-HTP is peripherally metabolized to serotonin, which is then metabolized. This might cause a false positive test in tests looking for carcinoid syndrome. Due to the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin by the liver, there could be a risk of heart valve disease from serotonin's effect on the heart, as based on preclinical findings. However, 5-HTP has not been associated with cardiac toxicity in humans.