Melatonin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: melatonin (Not applicable.)
Brand Name: Generics only. No brands available.

Melatonin is used for:

Sleep disorders such as difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and jet lag. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.

Melatonin is a hormone product. It works by regulating the body's sleep cycles.

Do NOT use melatonin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in melatonin
  • you are taking immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), or nifedipine
  • you have a history of immune system disorders, liver disease, or stroke
  • you are pregnant or breast-feeding

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using melatonin:

Some medical conditions may interact with melatonin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, depression, or a history of seizures

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with melatonin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nifedipine because the effectiveness may be decreased by melatonin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if melatonin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use melatonin:

Use melatonin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dosing depends on the use and the source of the product.
  • Use as directed on the package, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • Melatonin is usually taken 2 hours before bedtime for insomnia. Results may be seen within 30 minutes, but it may take 1 to 3 days for the effects to be noticed.
  • If you miss taking a dose of melatonin for 1 or more days, there is no cause for concern. If your doctor recommended that you take it, try to remember your dose every day.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use melatonin.

Important safety information:

  • Melatonin may cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this product. Using this product alone, with certain other medicines or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking this product. This product will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • This product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for any medical condition. The long-term safety of dietary supplements is not known. Before using any alternative medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use this product if you plan to become pregnant. It may have a contraceptive effect. Melatonin is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this product. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Possible side effects of melatonin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Change in sleep pattern; headache.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; depression; fast heartbeat; hypothermia (fast breathing, shivering).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of melatonin:

Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light unless otherwise directed on the package label. Do not store in the bathroom. Most dietary supplements are not in childproof containers. Keep melatonin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about melatonin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Melatonin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take melatonin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about melatonin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to melatonin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using melatonin.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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