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Melatonin

INFORMATION

Uses

Melatonin is used in the treatment of insomnia (difficulty in sleeping) and jet lag.

How it works

Melatonin works like melatonin, a chemical messenger naturally produced in the brain. Melatonin helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

Common side effects

Rash, Nervousness, Mood swings, Headache, Nausea, Nightmare, Decreased red blood cell count, Blurred vision, Night sweats, Abnormal liver function tests, Increased bilirubin in the blood, Visual impairment, Increased blood pressure, Depression, Dry mouth, Fainting, Vertigo, Palpitations, Protein in urine, Chest pain, Indigestion, Anxiety, Dizziness, Stomach pain, Itching, Weakness, Sleepiness, Migraine, Increase in body weight, Blood in urine, Increased glucose in urine, Loss of consciousness, Insomnia, Fatigue, Disorientation (alteration of mental status), Dry skin, Irritation, Psoriasis

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Do not drive or use machinery after taking melatonin since it can make you feel drowsy.
  • Smoking may make melatonin less effective since it can increase the metabolism (breakdown) of melatonin by the liver.
  • Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of melatonin so must be avoided before, during or after taking melatonin.
  • Do not take melatonin if you are allergic to melatonin or any of the other ingredients of this medicine.
  • Do not take melatonin if you are suffering from liver or kidney problems; if you have intolerance to some sugars; or have been suffering from an autoimmune disease (where the body is ‘attacked’ by its own immune system).

Frequently asked questions

Melatonin

Q.Is melatonin safe/ safe for kids?
Melatonin is safe when taken at prescribed dose and duration as advised by your doctor. It is however not recommended for use in children

Q.Can I take melatonin for a nap?
Melatonin is to be taken if you have persistent difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep or poor quality of sleep, that has no apparent cause. It should not be used for naps. Use should be strictly as per doctor's advice

Q.Is melatonin addictive or habit forming?
No. Melatonin doesn't have addictive or habit forming potential as long as it is taken as advised by doctor

Q.Can I take melatonin with Ambien/ Zoloft/ Prozac/ Lexapro/ prednisone/ Nyquil/Advil/ Klonopin/ Cymbalta/ wine?
Melatonin increases the calming or sleep inducing effects of Ambien (Zolpidem), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Klonopin (clonazepam). No major interactions are reported during usage of melatonin and Zoloft (sertraline)/ Lexapro (escitalopram)/ prednisone/ Nyquil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine and pseudoephedrine)/ Advil (ibuprofen)/ Cymbalta (duloxetine). Alcohol in wine reduces the sleep inducing effect of melatonin

Q.Is melatonin a hormone?
Melatonin is a natural, non-addicting hormone supplement that helps induce sleep by setting biological clock of the body

Q.Is melatonin available in India?
Yes, melatonin is available in India

Q.Can I take melatonin for an insomnia/ anxiety?
Melatonin has been indicated for the treatment of insomnia (sleeplessness) but not anxiety

Q.Can I take melatonin for long periods of time?
Melatonin should be taken only for a period of 3 months (13 weeks) at a time. Further use should be strictly as per the doctor's advice

Q.Does melatonin cause headaches/ constipation/ cancer/ acne?
Melatonin causes headaches and constipation in some patients. No data is available on whether it causes cancer or acne

Q.Does melatonin expire?
Like other medications, melatonin also expires. Expiry date is printed on medicine package/box, beyond which the medicine should not be used.


Content on this page was last updated on 26 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)