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Can I Overdose On Melatonin

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How Much Melatonin Is Too Much

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Melatonin supplements work differently on different people depending on a number of factors like weight, age, pre-existing medical conditions, and the cause for which they are taking the supplement. This is why there is no ideal dosage that fits everyone, and one should only take it after seeking medical advice. The safest dosage is considered to be anywhere between the range of 0.3 mg up to 10 mg.

What About Weed And Melatonin

Since many states have legal forms of marijuana, its important to know how the drug can affect melatonin. Marijuana will increase your melatonin levels naturally, so if you use it, there is no need to take a melatonin supplement, says Dr. Avena. If anything, you may end up with some of the unwanted side effects of melatonin overdose.

Mixing weed and melatonin isnt terribly dangerous, but again, its not recommended. Also, using marijuana as a sleep supplement is something you should ask your doctor about before trying, if the drug is legal in your area.

Can You Overdose On Melatonin

So far, there is no clinical evidence that short-term melatonin use can cause long-term problems in healthy adults. It is important to note, however, that high-quality studies addressing this topic are lacking. The current body of evidence consists mostly of small studies and case reports.

In one study, 12 adult males were administered intravenous melatonin in doses of 10 milligrams, 100 milligrams, or a placebo. There were no reported differences in sedation among the groups, and there were no harmful reactions. A second study gave five patients 1,000 milligrams of oral melatonin for approximately four weeks. While changes in pituitary hormones were observed, no toxic effects were reported.

Between 2000 and 2001, three case reports documented people who were admitted to emergency rooms for suicide attempts involving melatonin, each taking between 60 to 150 milligrams. Two of the individuals also took pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol with the melatonin. Minimal side effects were reported, and each person was discharged without issue after receiving appropriate care.

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Can Melatonin Interact With Other Substances

Its also a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting melatonin if youre taking any prescription medications.

The following list of medications may interact negatively with melatonin:

  • Blood-thinning medications : Melatonin may increase risk of bleeding.
  • Blood pressure drugs: Melatonin may make them less effective.
  • Diabetes medications: Melatonin may affect blood sugar and make these drugs less effective.
  • Birth control pills: Hormonal contraceptives increase your bodys natural levels of melatonin, so adding more may cause drowsiness.
  • Steroids and immune-suppressing drugs: Melatonin may make these medications less effective. Do not take melatonin with corticosteroids or other immunosuppressants.
  • Medications to prevent seizures : Melatonin might make them less effective, increasing the risk of seizures in some people.

Because melatonin has a sedative effect, it may not be a good idea to take it with other things that can make you sleepy, such as opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, or alcohol.

When Should I Talk With A Doctor

Yes, you can overdose on melatonin

While melatonin is largely viewed as safe, it is not without risk. Perhaps the most significant risk is what we dont know about this supplement. While youre unlikely to cause any serious damage using melatonin, its best to proceed with caution. Seeing a doctor for an accurate diagnosis of a sleep condition and determining whether melatonin is suitable for your situation can save you precious time and energy.

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Danielle Pacheco

Staff Writer

Danielle writes in-depth articles about sleep solutions and holds a psychology degree from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Abhinav Singh

Sleep Physician

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders.

Danielle Pacheco

Staff Writer

Danielle writes in-depth articles about sleep solutions and holds a psychology degree from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Abhinav Singh

Sleep Physician

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders.

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What Not To Take With Melatonin

Because melatonin can affect your sleep-wake cycle, avoid taking it with alcohol or caffeine. These can interfere with your circadian rhythm and your natural melatonin production.

Before starting melatonin or any over-the-counter medication or supplement, talk with your doctor. This is especially true if you take other medications.

For example, birth control pills may cause your body to start producing more melatonin, so taking a supplement could push your levels into an unhealthy range.

Taking melatonin with anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin , could increase your risk of bleeding.

You should also avoid taking melatonin if you take corticosteroids to suppress your immune response for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

If you think you may have overdosed on melatonin, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222.

You should call 911 and seek emergency help if you have symptoms such as:

  • shortness of breath

What Happens If I Have Too Much Or Too Little Melatonin

Too little melatonin can lead to sleep problems, depression and other mental illnesses. Too much melatonin can cause headaches, drowsiness, dizziness and nausea.

The bodys natural melatonin level tends to go down as we age. Low levels of melatonin can also be caused by not having enough sleep, travelling across time zones, doing shift work and taking some medicines. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can also lower melatonin levels.

In some people, melatonin levels are too high. This can happen because they:

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How Does Melatonin Work

Natural melatonin is predominantly made in your pineal gland, which is located in your brain. Light exposure inhibits the production of melatonin, but darkness stimulates it.

Melatonin levels in your brain begin to increase at dusk as the sun goes down and darkness falls. They reach their peak levels in the middle of the night and start decreasing as dawn gets closer.

The action of melatonin inhibits signals in your brain that promote wakefulness. This helps encourage sleep by making you feel tired or drowsy as you get closer to bedtime.

Because of melatonins sleep-promoting effects, melatonin supplements are used to treat a variety of sleep problems. These can include:

1 and 5 mg .

Melatonin typically takes 1 to 2 hours to work, so its often taken up to 2 hours before bedtime.

If youre looking to try melatonin for the first time, it may be best to begin with a lower dose. Your doctor can help recommend a safe dose for you to start with.

Can I Start And Stop Taking Melatonin Suddenly

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Yes. You do not need to taper off your use of melatonin. You can discontinue use at any time as well as use it only when needed. Because of this, itâs an excellent choice for travelers to help them negate the effects of jet-lag. If you have a long flight, you can take it beforehand to help yourself go to sleep on the plane.

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Do Melatonin Supplements Really Work

Interestingly, a systematic review of melatonin studies found that melatonin supplementation did very little to help with insomnia, shift work, or jet lag. Another review found no proof that melatonin helped people get to sleep faster.

Still, other experts found the supplement effective. Dr. Obea notes that melatonin is recommended to people who have sleep disorders. Dr. Avena feels melatonin is a helpful sleep aid, while Dr. Bazil said it can definitely be useful if there is a circadian rhythm component to the sleep problem.

Since the studies on melatonin have such mixed to negative results, few experts wholeheartedly recommended the supplement, though they feel melatonin is perfectly safe to try. Some people may benefit from melatonin while others may not, said Dr. Robbins. If you dont see a difference within the first 1-2 weeks, stop taking melatonin.

What Is The Optimal Melatonin Dosage

This is a 7-minute read

When taking melatonin, it is important to take an appropriate dosage at the right time when needed for safe and effective use. It is a common misconception that taking more melatonin will result in a deeper and more restful sleep. But the reality is, too much melatonin can lead to nighttime restlessness and daytime grogginess.

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How Do Melatonin Supplements Work

Basically, melatonin supplements add more melatonin to the mix. Our bodies produce melatonin naturally to help us start to fall asleep, says Dr. Nicole Avena, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Taking the supplement can be helpful for people who have trouble settling down naturally to sleep. By increasing the amount of melatonin, you give your body even more signals to go to bed, which may help you fall asleep faster and get higher quality sleep through the night.

Melatonin regulates the natural sleep-wake cycle, adds Dr. Cinthya Pena Orbeaof Cleveland Clinics Sleep Disorders Center. Levels start to increase in the evening by reaching the highest levels before bedtime.

People who work night shifts, have jet lag, or experience delayed sleep phase disorder also turn to melatonin for help. Since the hormone helps regulate the circadian rhythm, melatonin may help in reestablishing the regular day/night sleep schedule.

Melatonin dosage can vary, as every person reacts differently to the hormone. Since some people are more sensitive than others to the effects of melatonin, it is best to start off low and increase your dose as needed, Dr. Avena says. Doses of 0.2-5 mg are considered safe.

Does Melatonin Interact With Other Medications

Is melatonin safe and effective for kids: Dosage and side ...

Melatonin may interact with other medications that are also metabolized by the same liver enzymes, leading to higher plasma melatonin concentrations. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider if you are currently on a prescription medication and plan on using melatonin supplements.

âItâs best to start with a low dose of melatonin. If you give your body more than it needs, itâs possible to have the opposite effectâ¦â

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Bottom Line: Pros And Cons


  • Widely available in the U.S. over-the-counter without a prescription
  • Short-term use is relatively safe with little evidence of toxicity
  • Inexpensive product with generics or store brands available
  • Lower dose and orally-dissolvable products for children are available
  • Comes in a variety of dosage forms and doses


  • Not approved for any uses by the FDA
  • Quality of some products cannot always be assured
  • Studies for less common uses are not consistent
  • Doses tend to vary between patients always ask a medical professional for dosing advice in children
  • Effective lower doses are not always commercially available
  • Higher doses used over a prolonged period may lead to rebound insomnia and are not well studied.

Melatonin Supplement And Overdose

Sleep deprivation and inability to sleep can have people feel very frustrated and ready to do anything just to get a good nights sleep.

And this is completely understandable, but where do we draw the line between helpful supplements and abuse of supplements. A normal melatonin supplement dose for healthy adults is anywhere between 0.3 and 5 mg.

This is considered a healthy dose that your body should recognize as help and a possible trigger for further natural melatonin production. The problem is, this dosage is not a standard safe dose in fact, there isnt an official standard safe dosage, since we are talking about supplementation, but there are scientific studies implying the possible safe dosage.

The highest safe dosage of melatonin supplements would be 8 to 12 mg, in cases of serious sleep deprivation, extended sleeping difficulties, or jet lag.

Melatonin supplementation consumption that exceeds 12mg could be considered abuse of supplements. In such cases, people can experience serious adverse affects, especially if the high consumption extends over a longer period.

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Are There Any People Who Should Avoid Taking Melatonin

Theres limited research into the safety of using melatonin supplements during pregnancy. Also, while melatonin is a normal component of breast milk, theres little research into the effects of taking melatonin supplements while breastfeeding.

Because of this, its best to avoid taking melatonin if youre:

  • pregnant

Its a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider if you notice that you:

  • frequently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night
  • often feel drowsy or tired during the day
  • have trouble performing your daily activities

Your doctor will work with you to discuss your sleep routine and lifestyle habits. They may also ask you to keep a sleep diary to track the amount of sleep youre getting over a period of time.

Its also possible that your doctor will perform a physical exam and order blood tests. These can help them rule out a medical condition that may be causing your sleep issues.

How Does Melatonin Come At The Store

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In the U.S., melatonin pills can be purchased without a prescription in the pharmacy, grocery, or health food store. Pill strengths range from 1 milligram to 10 mg, but you should always start with the lowest dose to judge its effects. Some experts suggest to start with 0.3 to 0.5 mg thirty minutes before bedtime, instead of the higher doses. Cut a 1-mg immediate release tablet in half to get a 0.5 mg dose if lower doses are not available dont do this with time release products. Also, don’t drink alcohol with the time-release preparation, as it can disrupt the time-release mechanism.

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How Can I Adjust My Melatonin Levels

The best way to boost your melatonin levels naturally is by getting enough regular sleep, eating regular meals and avoiding caffeine and nicotine. Avoiding bright lights can also help.

Watching TV or using tablets, smartphones, laptops or other electronic devices before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. The artificial blue light from these types of devices suppresses the release of melatonin.

If your levels are too high , you can go out into the light in the morning and do some exercise in the evening.

Melatonin pills are available in Australia. Currently, you need a prescription from your doctor for melatonin. From June 2021, a form of melatonin will be available from pharmacies without a prescription for people aged over 55.

There are 2 ways to use melatonin pills. The first is to take them so you feel sleepy and fall asleep more easily. It normally takes about 20 minutes to start to feel sleepy after you take the melatonin. Discuss the best way to do this with your doctor.

The other way is to help re-set your body clock. Take the pill around bedtime in the time zone you are travelling to. It works better if you combine it with bright light therapy going outdoors into the light during the morning.

Its important to talk to your doctor about how to take melatonin safely:

There are also ways to help children to sleep better without using melatonin.

What Is The Correct Melatonin Dosage For Me

The recommended dose of melatonin is the lowest dose that can help your sleep quantity and quality without causing side effects. While the right dose varies from one person to another, between 0.5 milligrams and 5 milligrams once daily is the typical starting dose for adults. Research indicates that taking doses of 10 milligrams or higher may cause side effects. The maximum recommended dose of melatonin is 10 milligrams.

Several factors, such as age, body weight, and sensitivity to melatonin may affect the recommended dosage. The dose also depends on the type and severity of the sleep problem. Certain drugs may also affect the way melatonin is metabolized. Speak to your physician if you are taking other medications before starting melatonin.

When using melatonin for the first time, begin at a low dose and adjust in increments of 1 milligram, depending on response. Generally, the optimum time to take melatonin is one to two hours before bedtime. There’s some evidence of tolerance with melatonin use, so it’s not recommended to increase the dose over time after reaching the lowest effective dose.

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Are There Any Drug Interactions With Melatonin

As with most medications, there are some drug interactions with melatonin that you need to watch out for. Here are a few well-known interactions that occur with melatonin:

  • Blood pressure medications: blood pressure medications limit the body’s natural production of melatonin and taking melatonin could cause issues
  • Anticonvulsants : too much melatonin in the bloodstream may inhibit epilepsy drugs from working
  • Anticoagulants : taking melatonin with this kind of medication could cause excess bleeding
  • Diabetes medications: diabetes medications could be ineffective at controlling sugar levels in the blood if you have high levels of melatonin in your bloodstream
  • Immunosuppressants: melatonin supplements could block the effects of immunosuppressants which could cause complications for patients taking these medications

In addition to these medications, you should avoid taking any ‘uppers’ or ‘downers.’

Uppers are medications or substances that increase your heart rate, your blood pressure, and/or bring your energy level up. An example of an upper would be caffeine. Thus, you should avoid drinking coffee, soda, or anything similar.

Downers are medications or substances that decrease your heart rate, your blood pressure, and/or bring your energy level down. An example of a downer would be sedatives. In fact, melatonin is a downer.

If you ever take too many sedatives, you need to get emergency help and notify your physician as soon as possible.

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