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- What is melatonin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for melatonin?
- Is melatonin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for melatonin?
- What are the uses for melatonin?
- What are the side effects of melatonin?
- What is the dosage for melatonin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with melatonin?
- Is melatonin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about melatonin?
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 sleep-wake cycle. Check with your healthcare professional before using herbs or other supplements.
What are the uses for melatonin?
Melatonin is also used for treatment of:
What is the dosage for melatonin?
Which drugs or supplements interact with melatonin?
Melatonin should be used with caution with medications like:
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?
There are no adequate studies done on melatonin to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.
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.
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Related Disease Conditions
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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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.
Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)
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.
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.
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.
Sleep and 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.
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Medscape: Melatonin (Herbs/Suppl) N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, pineal hormone
Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine