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    Melatonin

    To date, there are no definite answers about how well melatonin works, how safe it is when taken for long periods, or what constitutes a melatonin overdose.

    Poison Prevention Adults  |   Poison Prevention, Teens  |   Herbals and supplements  |   Medicines

    Melatonin

    Potential Uses and Benefits

    The Bottom Line

    To date, there are no definite answers about how well melatonin works, how safe it is when taken for long periods, or what constitutes a melatonin overdose.

    The Full Story

    The Full Story What is melatonin?

    Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the human brain that impacts circadian rhythms. Its primary function is to help us sleep, and its production increases at nighttime. For this reason, people take melatonin as a sleep aid. Research studies for these uses show mixed results. Melatonin overdose is not well-understood, and standard dosage has not been established. Melatonin is not a medication. It is a dietary supplement that is available over-the-counter in the United States.

    Is melatonin safe?

    Melatonin seems to be safe when taken for short periods of time as a sleep aid, though there are no studies of long-term safety. Melatonin side effects include drowsiness, as expected, and dizziness, but otherwise are about the same as placebo pills (sugar pills). People with seizure disorders should not take melatonin, as there are some reports of seizures occurring in people who took it. The safety and side effects of long-term melatonin use have not been studied extensively in pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and young children. To date, there are no definite answers about how well melatonin works for a number of conditions, and how safe it is when taken for long periods. Melatonin is not a medication. Quality control may be variable because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way that it monitors prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Supplements may not have consistent amounts of the active ingredient in them, and they may be absorbed into the body at different rates. This can make it hard to interpret research studies that don't describe the formulation of melatonin used. While melatonin is a dietary supplement and not a medication, it may react with medicines and other supplements. Check with your doctor before taking it.

    Can someone overdose on melatonin?

    Even though melatonin is not a medication, it can cause unwanted side effects in overdose. If someone takes too much melatonin, he or she might experience sleepiness, headache, nausea, and perhaps even agitation. There is no antidote for melatonin overdose, and significant toxicity is not expected to occur even after consumption of relatively large doses of it. If someone takes too much melatonin, have a reliable adult stay with the person who took the it until he or she is fully rested and awake. That reliable adult should also awaken the person who took the melatonin every half hour while napping. If the person’s breathing is not normal or if the person will not fully awaken, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. The side effects of melatonin, including drowsiness, may last for several hours.

    Will melatonin help me sleep?

    A review of more than 125 studies, many of them small, concluded that melatonin doesn't seem to help most people with sleep problems, including people with jet lag and shift workers. There is some evidence that it can help people fall asleep faster. The researchers found that most studies fell short in describing the details of the melatonin used in the study. A prescription drug called Ramelteon® acts on the same area of the brain as melatonin. It is prescribed for elderly people with insomnia.

    Can melatonin help children with ADHD sleep?

    Many children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. A review of four studies of such children found that melatonin often helped them fall asleep faster and sleep longer.

    Should I take melatonin for jet lag?

    Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of melatonin for jet lag. Most studies were small. Some researchers believe that it is safe and effective when people cross five or more time zones in the eastern direction. Other researchers say that there is no evidence that melatonin helps with sleep problems associated with jet lag, though it may help people to feel more awake during the day. All seem to agree that additional research is needed.

    Is it safe to put melatonin in food and drinks?

    There is no research showing that melatonin should be added to foods and drinks, though it has been baked into brownies and added to beverages and marketed as “relaxation” aids. The amount of melatonin used was typically more than a usual bedtime dose of 5 milligrams, though standard dosage has not been established. The FDA required companies to remove melatonin from their products, noting that it has medical uses but is NOT recognized as a safe addition to foods. Although hundreds of melatonin studies have been published, many of them involved only small numbers of people, were not scientifically rigorous, and used unspecified types of products.

    What should I do if I took too much melatonin?

    If someone may be experiencing a melatonin overdose or worrisome side effects, use the webPOISONCONTROL® online tool for guidance or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

    Rose Ann Gould Soloway, RN, BSN, MSEd, DABAT emerita

    Clinical Toxicologist

    Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, FACEP, FUHM, FACMT

    Source : www.poison.org

    Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

    How much melatonin is too much? This summary can help you stay safe while using this common sleep supplement.

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    Melatonin is a hormone produced by all mammals that plays a significant role in the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms. Dubbed the “sleep hormone,” melatonin is formed in the brain’s pineal gland in response to falling light levels to prepare the body for sleep.

    In recent years, synthetic melatonin supplements marketed to treat a variety of sleep disorders have become ubiquitous. From 2007 to 2012, melatonin use in the U.S. doubled1 and it now ranks as one of the nation’s most popular supplements. Its popularity stems in part from its image as a natural alternative to traditional sleep medications, which are known for side effects.

    Although melatonin supplements are considered “natural,” this does not necessarily mean they are harmless. Categorized as a dietary supplement by the Food and Drug Administration, melatonin regulation is loose in the U.S. and does not require the extensive research that prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids must undergo to earn access to consumers.

    While those struggling to sleep may be desperate to do as much as possible to get shut-eye, more is not always better. It is important to be aware of the safety risks posed by taking too much melatonin.

    How Much Melatonin Is Safe to Take?

    Melatonin is available to purchase in any quantity, without a prescription in the U.S. However, there is currently no formal consensus on the optimal dosing regimen for this supplement.  Studies frequently use2 doses ranging from 0.1 to 10 milligrams, but 2 to 3 milligrams is often considered3  an appropriate amount to start.

    There are many challenges to determining the appropriate amount of melatonin for any one person to take. Individual responses to this supplement can vary considerably due to factors that are not fully understood but can include age, gender, specific sleep issues, other health conditions, and timing of administration.

    In addition, not all melatonin supplements are created equal. Differences in preparation can significantly alter4 melatonin’s impact. Depending on the formulation, taking 1 to 10 milligrams of melatonin can raise the body’s melatonin blood levels anywhere from 3 to 60 times the normal amount.

    Melatonin users should also be wary of the dosages listed on supplement labels, which have shown to be alarmingly inaccurate. A random sampling5  of 31 brands of melatonin supplements determined that most did not contain the labeled dose, with the actual amount ranging anywhere from less than 80% to nearly 500% as much. Additionally, over one quarter of the supplements contained serotonin. Consumers should look for products labeled United States Pharmacopeial Convention Verified for the most reliable formulation.

    Despite the lack of data and variability around dosing regimens, with typical use, melatonin is largely considered safe6 and is generally well-tolerated in healthy adults. The risk of side effects7 is low, but can include mild headache, dizziness, nausea, and sleepiness.

    Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

    So far, there is no clinical evidence that short-term melatonin use can cause long-term problems in healthy adults. It is important to note, however, that high-quality studies addressing this topic are lacking. The current body of evidence consists mostly of small studies and case reports.

    In one study, 12 adult males were administered intravenous melatonin8 in doses of 10 milligrams, 100 milligrams, or a placebo. There were no reported differences in sedation among the groups, and there were no harmful reactions. A second study gave five patients 1,000 milligrams of oral melatonin9 for approximately four weeks.  While changes in pituitary hormones were observed, no toxic effects were reported.

    Between 2000 and 2001, three case reports10 documented people who were admitted to emergency rooms for suicide attempts involving melatonin, each taking between 60 to 150 milligrams. Two of the individuals also took pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol with the melatonin. Minimal side effects were reported, and each person was discharged without issue after receiving appropriate care.

    What Are the Symptoms of a Melatonin Overdose?

    It is important to note that just because a supplement is unlikely to be lethal, that does not mean that unwanted or troubling side effects cannot occur. Concerning symptoms have been reported with higher doses of melatonin.

    Possible symptoms of too much melatonin include:

    Headache

    Hypotension (low blood pressure)

    Hypertension (high blood pressure)

    Drowsiness Vomiting

    Worsening of (an autoimmune disorder causing hair loss)

    Because melatonin can affect the cardiovascular, dermatologic, and central nervous systems, those with other conditions may be vulnerable to additional risks. Evidence suggests that melatonin supplementation may induce depression11, particularly in people predisposed to or currently experiencing this malady. Research on this topic, however, is conflicting, since some studies have demonstrated the potential for melatonin to treat depression12.

    People taking blood thinners, like warfarin, and benzodiazepines should be careful, as there is a possibility for interaction13. Those with epilepsy should also exercise caution, as melatonin has been associated with increased seizures.

    Research suggests that elderly people, who have lower natural levels of melatonin14, may be more sensitive to the effects of melatonin supplements. Therefore, older people are encouraged to check with their doctor before taking melatonin and start with the lowest possible dose.

    Source : www.sleepfoundation.org

    Can you overdose on melatonin? When to see doctor, symptoms & dosage

    A melatonin overdose is is possible, but unlikely. However, there are possible side effects to its use. Learn more.

    Can you overdose on melatonin?

    Medically reviewed by Alyssa Peckham, PharmD, BCPP — Written by Jenna Fletcher — Updated on April 21, 2022

    It is incredibly unlikely that a person can overdose on melatonin. However, some people may experience minor side effects when taking melatonin supplements.

    Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body, though people may take it as a supplement.

    There have only been two recorded cases of melatonin overdose since 1997

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    . Excessive consumption can cause lethargy, disorientation, and low blood pressure.

    It is important for people using melatonin to be mindful of side effects and always begin with the lowest dose possible.

    This article covers what melatonin is, its uses, and possible side effects.

    What is melatonin?

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    Melatonin is a naturally occurring

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    hormone in the body that helps regulate the sleep cycle. The pineal gland in the brain produces melatonin.

    Melatonin levels increase and decrease throughout the day. Typically, melatonin levels rise through the evening and remain high overnight, allowing a person to sleep.

    In the morning, due to sunlight hitting the eye, the levels drop again, allowing a person to wake up.

    Some vegetables and fruit contain small amounts

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    of melatonin, and it is also available as an over-the-counter supplement.

    In the short term Trusted Source Trusted Source

    , taking supplemental melatonin will increase melatonin, signaling the body to fall asleep. It works best for jet lag, though it may also help in insomnia or other sleep-related problems.

    Learn more about melatonin here.

    Potential melatonin side effects

    The symptoms of melatonin consumption will vary from person to person. Some may find that taking too much melatonin causes them to feel extremely sleepy during unintended times or cause intense dreams or nightmares.

    Other symptoms of a melatonin consumption may include:

    headaches dizziness upset stomach diarrhea joint pain anxiety

    Melatonin overdose symptoms

    Melatonin overdose is rare. In the limited cases of melatonin overdose, people experienced

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    the following symptoms:

    lethargy low blood pressure disorientation

    Correct melatonin dosage

    A typical dose of melatonin is between 1 mg and 5 mg

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    . Doctors may advise that people only take melatonin two-three times a week rather than every night.

    Doctors typically prescribe a lower dose at first. If it is well-tolerated though not effective, they may slowly increase the dose.

    Age, weight, and overall sensitivity to the supplement affect how much melatonin a person should take.

    Melatonin in adults and children

    Doctors may recommend

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    melatonin for children with neurodevelopmental disorders that make it difficult for them to sleep.

    Conditions that may impact a child’s sleep include:

    insomnia

    delayed sleep phase syndrome

    autism spectrum disorder

    attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    If a doctor prescribes melatonin for a child, a parent or caregiver needs to ensure they follow the exact prescribed dosage.

    A 2021 review Trusted Source Trusted Source

    found insufficient evidence to recommend melatonin use in children without diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Learn more about melatonin use for children here.

    Medications that interact with melatonin

    Melatonin can have a direct effect on a person’s sleep cycle. A person should avoid taking melatonin alongside products containing caffeine or alcohol, as both of these can affect a person’s ability to fall asleep.

    Anyone who is taking other medications should discuss possible side effects with their prescribing doctor. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can interact with melatonin supplements.

    People with high blood pressure or taking medications that lower blood pressure should speak with a doctor before using melatonin.

    Blood pressure medications may decrease a person’s natural production of melatonin, which may prompt them to take melatonin to help offset the imbalance. However, melatonin can cause changes in blood pressure, including unsafe and unexpected spikes.

    Some medications, such as birth control, can cause the body to produce more melatonin. Taking a supplement may cause melatonin levels to increase too much, producing unwanted side effects.

    Immune suppressors and some blood thinners may also react with melatonin. For example, melatonin may intensify the effects of some blood thinners, causing a risk of excessive bleeding.

    When to contact a doctor

    A person should speak with a doctor if they are considering taking melatonin for trouble sleeping. A doctor can recommend the correct dose and tell a person whether their medication is likely to cause unsafe side effects.

    Source : www.medicalnewstoday.com

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