Sexual dysfunction is common amongst both men and women. Even though more common amongst the older generation, sexual dysfunction can develop at any age. Amongst male researchers, erectile dysfunction, along with premature ejaculation, seems to be the most prevalent type of sexual problems1. Libido-related problems are also present in a significant number of men. Common conditions in women tend to affect their arousal, as well as their sexual desire.
Sexual function is a complex process that involves a number of physiological factors. While conventional treatment for sexual dysfunction is available, side-effects associated with such treatment options are causing concern among both men and women experiencing these symptoms. Bremelanotide, or peptide PT-141, has shown promising results as a possible (more research needs to be conducted) treatment option that possibly does not hold such a significant risk of side-effects and potential complications.
What Is Bremelanotide PT-141 Peptide?
Melanotan 2 is a synthetic peptide that has been used for several years as an agent that may assist in producing a tanning effect on the skin without having to go out into the sun. The idea behind the development of Melanotan 2 was to provide the population with an effective way to tan without exposing their skin to the potentially harmful effects that sun rays have been associated with.
Bremelanotide, also called PT-141, is a synthetic peptide that is produced from the Melanotan 2 peptide. At the moment, there is still a significant amount of research being conducted, and Bremelanotide experiences are constantly being recorded in order for scientists behind the peptide to understand the potential benefits, as well as the safety profile, of the substance.
Bremelanotide PT-141 peptide as a theoretical treatment for sexual dysfunction in a controlled research environment
The use of Bremelanotide as a treatment for sexual dysfunctions experienced by researchers were not discovered due to research on this particular topic. Instead, the discovery of this particular connection is often considered accidental.
Male researchers who opted for a tanning solution that does not require UV rays from the sun directly, but rather the use of this synthetic peptide, noticed that they were experiencing spontaneous erections while using the peptide as a tanning solution. Both men and women who underwent these tanning programs also noticed an increase in their libido, leading to a higher sex drive. This was when the PT-141 peptide went under the radar of medical scientists – particularly those who specialize in researching new ways to fight sexual dysfunctions.
In order to understand the connection, it is important to know how the Bremelanotide peptide interacts with the human body. An erection relies on a number of physiological and even psychological factors. The central nervous system has been suggested to play a significant role in a man’s ability to have an erection.
Multiple melanocortinergic receptors often referred to as MC receptors, are located in the central nervous system. The primary types of these receptors in the central nervous system include both MC3 and MC4 receptors. These are considered subtypes of the melanocortinergic receptor.
This is where Bremelanotide, or PT-141, comes into play. The peptide has been found to interact on both MC3 and the MC4 receptors in the brain. One study2 explains that antagonists and agonists of these receptors may play a role in producing erections in men. The same study explains that the use of a peptide-like Bremelanotide may also have interaction on the brainstem, the spinal cord, and even the hypothalamic region of the brain. This, in turn, would explain the increase in sexual desire following the use of the peptide.
Bremelanotide PT-141 theoretical side effects noticed in a controlled research environment
When Melanotan 2 was developed and initially used as a method of providing men and women an alternative treatment option to more traditional conventional drugs, several side-effects were noted. It took approximately two hours for the peptide to activate. Additional side-effects included continuous yawning, as well as nausea.
This led scientists to develop a type of melanocortin receptor agonist that could work faster. The result as the Bremelanotide peptide, which took effect much faster. There were, however, still some side-effects noted with the use of this peptide3. Both men and women interested in utilizing Bremelanotide as a way of treating their sexual dysfunctions should be aware of these side-effects and determine if the treatment is indeed a safe option for them.
The most significant side-effects that have been noted and associated with the use of Bremelanotide include an increase in blood pressure, along with nausea, similar to the Melanotan 2 peptide. The effects that the peptide may have on blood pressure is primarily a concern among patients with existing hypertension.
Several Bremelanotide clinical trials have established the usefulness of this peptide in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, along with other types of sexual dysfunctions that may lead to complications in a patient’s sex life. Even though a synthetically produced peptide, Bremelanotide still seems to hold benefits over more traditional conventional treatments like Viagra, due to a reduced risk of serious side-effects. At the time of writing this article, the international journal of peptide research and therapeutics has listed this product as only made for research purposes and is not to be consumed by humans.
1 M.P. McCabe, I.D. sharlip, R. Lewis, E. Atalla, R. Balon, A.D. Fisher, E. Laumann, S.W. Lee, R.T. Segraves. Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in Women and Men: A Consensus Statement from the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine 2015. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Feb 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26953829
2 S.H. King, A.V. Mayorov, P. Balse-Srinivasan, V.J. Hruby, T.W. Vanderah, H. Wessells. Melanocortin Receptors, Melanotropic Peptides, and Penile Erection. HHS Public Access. 10 Jun 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2694735/
3 C.K. Patel, N. Bennett. Advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: what’s new and upcoming? F1000 Research. 18 Mar 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979545/
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