Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously. Patient Comments FAQs

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users.

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient:Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

Enter your Comment

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Are there effective medications for jet lag? What is the role of melatonin in jet lag?

There are no specific medications for jet lag, only medications that may help you get to sleep more easily when you reach your destination, or that remedy some symptoms of jet lag.

Melatonin is a hormone that plays a key role in body rhythms and jet lag. After the sun sets, the eyes perceive darkness and alert the hypothalamus to begin releasing melatonin, which promotes sleep. Conversely, when the eyes perceive sunlight, they tell the hypothalamus to withhold melatonin production. However, the hypothalamus cannot readjust its schedule instantly; it takes several days.

A dose of melatonin that is between 0.3 mg-5 mg may be taken on the first day you travel at the time you go to sleep at your destination, and for a few days, if needed. Melatonin seems to be most effective when crossing five or more time zones, or traveling east. Melatonin should only be taken by adults. Do not drink alcohol when taking melatonin. Consult a doctor if you plan on taking melatonin.

Prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills may help you reset your body clock to the time at your destination. Try not to use them if possible, but if your doctor has prescribed sleep medication, it may be taken if needed for up to two or three nights. Try not to take it for longer, as these medications can be habit-forming.

OTC sleep aids include

  • diphenhydramine (Sominex, Nytol) and
  • doxylamine (Unisom).

Prescription sleep medications include the following:

  • Short-acting sedative-hypnotics (non-benzodiazepines): zolpidem (Ambien, ZolpiMist), zaleplon (Sonata), and eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Melatonin receptor agonists: ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers): flurazepam (Dalmane), temazepam (Restoril), and estazolam (ProSom)
Return to Jet Lag

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors