Several parcels of an injectable tanning drug with libido-enhancing effects have been intercepted on their way to New Zealand.
The so-called Barbie drug is available online as an injectable drug which gives users an instant tan.
It gives users a number of other reactions too - enhanced libido, spontaneous erections and a loss of appetite have been commonly reported.
Some of its less pleasant effects include nausea, darkened freckles and high blood pressure.
Melanotan 2 contains the prescription-only medicine afamelanotide, which Melbourne company Clinuvel is researching as a preventive for skin cancer in fair people.
Do-it-yourself home tanning kits of Melanotan 2 can be purchased for about $60 for a 10mg vial from Australia.
Last year 18 parcels of the drug were intercepted by New Zealand Customs officials who forwarded them to the Health Ministry's Medsafe division.
An Auckland GP and "appearance medicine" practitioner who publicly advocated use of the drug for tanning purposes is no longer treating patients with it.
Dr Dee O'Neill went public in 2007 saying the drug was safe after carrying out a trial on a patient with very fair skin, and regularly used it herself.
"It's a very, very good drug," O'Neill said. "But you just can't get it in New Zealand. Customs have been stopping parcels at the border for the last two years."
O'Neill used the drug on herself for about two or three summers.
She injected herself each day until she reached her optimal tan, then once a week afterwards to retain it.
She never suffered any adverse affects and was not fazed by others' negative reactions.
"I read all the stuff about it but it doesn't apply to me any more because I haven't been using it," she said.
"The few people I know that use it get it while they're in the States."
This year the drug was blamed for the death of British woman Jenna Vickers, 26, who died after injecting the drug.
By Michelle Robinson, 23rd September 2012, Stuff.co.nz
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