melatonin - oral

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, Melatonin


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland in the body. Commercially available melatonin that is sold as medicine is produced in the laboratory. Melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycle. Check with your health care professional before using herbs or other supplements.



PREPARATIONS: Melatonin is available in 1 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg strengths. Melatonin is available in tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, sublingual tablets, and in liquid form.

STORAGE: Melatonin is usually stored at room temperature.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Melatonin is used for sleeplessness and adjusting sleep-wake cycles due to jet lag or work schedule changes. Melatonin is also used for treatment of some Alzheimer's disease symptoms, ringing in ears, depression, and migraine headaches.


Sleeplessness, sleep-wake cycle changes: Take 0.3 to 5 mg by mouth daily at bedtime.

MMigraine headaches: Take 3 to 10 mg by mouth daily at bedtime.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/10/2014

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index