- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Preparation & Storage
What is melatonin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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 the sleep-wake cycle. Check with your healthcare professional before using herbs or other supplements.
Melatonin is also used for the treatment of:
What brand names are available for melatonin?
Is melatonin available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for melatonin?
What is the dosage for melatonin?
Which drugs or supplements interact with melatonin?
Melatonin should be used with caution with medications like:
- zolpidem (Ambien),
- alprazolam (Xanax),
- clonazepam (Klonopin),
- diazepam (Valium), and
- zalepon (Sonata).
These drugs cause increased sedation.
Melatonin should be used with caution with medications like:
- warfarin (Coumadin),
- clopidogrel (Plavix),
- diclofenax (Voltaren), and
- meloxicam (Mobic).
These drugs increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Is melatonin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about melatonin?
What preparations of melatonin-oral are available?
- 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.
How should I keep melatonin-oral stored?
- Melatonin is usually stored at room temperature.
Latest Health News
- Healthy Living Boosts Life Span, Even for Former Smokers
- AHA News: For This Race Car Driver, Curing a Racing Heart Was Key to Crossing the Finish Line
- Money, Good Info Can't Undo Resistance to COVID Vaccine: Study
- U.S. Suicide Rates Rose in 2021, Reversing 2 Years of Decline
- After Ian's Destruction: How to Safely Enter, Clean Flood-Damaged Homes
- More Health News »
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
16 Surprising Headache Triggers and Tips for Pain Relief
Do you have frequent headaches? Learn the most common headache triggers for tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches...
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication
Know when you or someone else is depressed. Get information on depression symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types...
Tinnitus: Why Are My Ears Ringing?
What is tinnitus? Explore tinnitus (ringing in the ears) causes, symptoms, relief remedies, treatments and prevention tips. Learn...
Migraine or Tension Headache? Symptoms, Triggers, Treatments
What does a migraine headache feel like compared to a tension headache? Learn to spot migraine symptoms early, how to identify...
Smoking Quiz: How to Quit Smoking
You know it's time you quit smoking. Learn the myths and facts about quitting smoking with the Smoking Quiz. When it comes to...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Myths and Facts About Therapy
False ideas scare many depression suffers away from therapy and the quick relief and help these pros can provide. Let our experts...
Celebrities With Migraines
See how celebrities cope with the pain caused by migraines. Learn their methods used to prevent and relieve migraine pain.
Migraine Headaches: 14 Non-Drug Treatments for Migraines
Learn about 14 non-drug treatments for migraines. Acupuncture, biofeedback and massage therapy are among this list of non-drug...
Related Disease Conditions
Tinnitus is described as a throbbing, ringing, clicking, or buzzing in one or both ears. Tinnitus is caused by trauma to the ear, over exposure to loud noises, medication, and diseases or infections of the ear such as multiple sclerosis, TMJ, autistic neruoma, Meniere's disease, hearing loss, and aging. Treatments include medication, tinnitus masking, retraining therapy, and relief therapy.
Jet lag (desynchonosis) is a temporary disorder that results from travel across time zones. Symptoms include anxiety, constipation, headache, nausea, dehydration, diarrhea, confusion, sweating, irritability, and even memory loss.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
When sleepiness interferes with daily routines and activities, or reduces the ability to function, it is called "problem sleepiness." A person can have problem sleepiness without realizing it. Symptoms of problem sleepiness include: consistently don't get enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, fall asleep while driving, struggle to stay awake when inactive (like watching TV or reading), have difficulty paying attention or concentrating at work, school, or home, have poor performance problems at work or school, have difficulty remembering things, have slowed responses, have difficulty controlling your emotions, and/or if you have to take naps on most days.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Sleep Disorders in Children and Teenagers
Sleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Though the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid depression and stress during the holiday season.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
Medscape: Melatonin (Herbs/Suppl) N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, pineal hormone
Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine