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Melatonin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 29, 2019.

What are other common names?

  • 5-Methoxy-N-Acetyltryptamine
  • Circadin
  • MEL
  • Melatonia
  • MLT
  • N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine
  • Pineal Hormone

What is this product used for?

Melatonin is used by some people to help regulate sleep. This may be used by people who travel a lot or who work different shifts. Some people use melatonin to help with sleep problems caused by certain drugs. It is also used by some people for cancer or to lower side effects from chemotherapy. Melatonin may help prevent low mood after breast cancer surgery. Some people use melatonin to help with high blood pressure and for the reduction or to lower anxiety before surgery. Some people believe melatonin helps stomach ulcers or endometriosis. A melatonin cream is used by some people to protect from sunburn.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Avoid beer, wine, and mixed drinks (alcohol) while taking this product.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (Lovenox).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (Activase), reteplase (Retavase), or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Naprosyn).

  • Take extra care if you are at a high risk for infection. This includes people who have had a transplant, are on chemo, or have an autoimmune disease.

  • This product may cause you to be sleepy. Take extra care driving and doing tasks that you need to be alert for.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Autoimmune disease

    • High blood pressure

    • Seizures

    • Low mood

    • Liver problems

    • Diabetes

    • Cancer

    • Bleeding disorders

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Dizziness

  • Daytime sleepiness

  • Bed wetting

  • Low mood

  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in your menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

Last Reviewed Date

2017-10-13

Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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