In December 2010, the delegate made a delegate only decision to include afamelanotide (also known as melanotan I) with a cross-reference to melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) for inclusion into the current Poisons Standard. It was noted that afamelanotide should not be confused with a similar substance commonly known as Melanotan-II, which is a cyclic lactam synthetic analogue of α-MSH. It was noted that melanotan-II was under investigation for treating sexual dysfunction, although this has been abandoned due to side effects associated with the immune and cardiovascular systems. Its metabolite, bremelanotide, is under investigation for treating haemorrhagic shock.
The first time Ditzen and her colleagues did this experiment they found that for both men and women oxytocin improved communication and lowered cortisol, a stress hormone. But in a recent study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Ditzen and her colleagues measured salivary alpha-amylase (sAA)—an enzyme tied specifically to social stress—and found that men and women responded differently. Women who got oxytocin showed a decrease in sAA whereas men showed an increase and reported feeling more intense emotions. Counterintuitively, these men were also better at communication during conflict: they smiled more, had more eye-contact and were more open about their feelings. These behaviors are essential for peaceful conflict resolution.
The short half-life (<2h) of 5-HTP may inherently limit the therapeutic potential of 5-HTP, as the systemic 5-HTP exposure levels will fluctuate substantially, even with relatively frequent dosing. Such exposure fluctuations are usually associated with increased adverse event burden, resulting from Cmax drug spikes, and decreased clinical efficacy resulting from sub-therapeutic exposure for large parts of the day. It has been proposed that 5-HTP dosage forms achieving prolonged delivery would be more effective, as is generally the situation with short-acting active pharmaceutical ingredients.