Sunday, July 14, 2024

Does Melatonin Have Side Effects

Don't Miss

Before Taking This Medicine

Side Effects of Melatonin: What Are the Risks?

Do not use melatonin if you are allergic to it.

Before using this medication, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use this medication if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • diabetes
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia
  • taking a blood thinner like warfarin
  • high or low blood pressure
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • if you are using any medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • an autoimmune condition
  • using other sedatives or tranquilizers

It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

High doses of this medicine may affect ovulation, making it difficult for you to get pregnant.

It is not known whether melatonin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

Is Melatonin Safe Forchildren

Its no wonder parents are uncertain about this. If you surfthe web, youre likely to get mixed messages:

  • Australian experts called the increase in use among children alarming and warned in 2015 that parents shouldnt give it to their children. WebMD
  • Melatonin, according to more than 24 studies, is safe for children and has been used with little to no side effects.
  • Currently, we dont have any evidence to say that taking melatonin on a daily basis in that sense is harmful, although there are no large-scale multicenter clinical trials to really test that.Medscape

This last quote is probably closest to where we actuallyare. However, it is clear there has been a dramatic increase in use ofmelatonin in children in the past five years or so. For example, in England, estimates have found a 25percent increase in melatonin prescriptions in children under 18 between2015-16 and 2017-18, and a 40 percent increase in the extended release formsduring the same period. There are no similar statistics in the U.S. forover-the-counter melatonin, but it is now rare in our experience that childrencoming to the Boston Childrens Sleep Clinic with insomnia are not already onmelatonin, usually recommended by their pediatrician.;

Melatonin Is Not A Sleeping Pill

Thats what Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor, tells patents who inquire about this popular supplement. Like me and many other practitioners who have researched this supplement, Dr. Breus believes melatonin is a bad answer to insomnia.

Dr. Breus, who was featured on the Dr. Oz show to discuss the problems with melatonin, explains,

This is the really important thing you should understand about melatonin: Melatonin is a sleep and body clock regulator NOT a sleep initiator.;Melatonin works with your biological clock by telling your brain when it is time to sleep. Melatonin does not increase your sleep drive or need for sleep.

Read Also: Are My Hormones Making Me Gain Weight

Other Benefits Of Taking Melatonin

In my research, Ive read a good deal about melatonins potent antioxidant properties. I asked Dr. Reiter for his take on how these properties could benefit the cardiovascular system.

He sees melatonin as working on multiple levels. First, he said, melatonin is quickly distributed throughout the body. It enters cardiac cells with ease and has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Most importantly, melatonin gets inside the mitochondria, the power plants within cells where energy is produced. Few nutraceuticals can penetrate to this point, which makes melatonin especially useful.

A huge number of free radicals are produced as a byproduct of the mitochondrial energy-production process. Free radicals, as a reminder, are molecules with unpaired electrons that snatch electrons away from other molecules, setting off a biochemical chain reaction that potentially leads to inflammation and damage to cells and tissue. Unless the body controls free radical activity, the damage can be extensive even deadly, over time. Melatonin helps scavenge for, and neutralize, free radicals. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

We think these protective actions have potential applicability for individuals with cardiovascular disease, Dr. Reiter said.

Dr. Reiter added that in animal experiments, melatonin has been shown to sharply reduce local tissue damage caused by strokes and heart attacks.

Side Effects Of Melatonin: 8 Groups Should Avoid Taking Melatonin

Melatonin for sleep: Dosage, side effects, and how it works

September 28, 2020//;;by;Terry Cralle//;;

Melatonin, also known as the hormone of darkness is a hormone responsible for the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. However, promoting and regulating sleep is only one of its physiological functions.

This hormone plays an important role in bodily functions, the functions of organs like the kidney or liver, and helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. Melatonin is also shown useful in cases of tumors and cancers, where it prevents oxidative stress to promote the growth of cancerous cells.

Now, all of this sounds rather impressive, and sure enough, because melatonin is a naturally produced hormone coming from the very brain, no one would suspect it harmful. However, melatonin supplements, on the other hand, are raising some eyebrows in the medical community.

Over the past few years, melatonin supplements have been studied concerning their possible side effects. Turns out, melatonin intake can cause a dozen of adverse effects, which can pose a long-term danger. In the following paragraphs, well take a look at the major side effects, every melatonin producing company would hide from you. So, lets get started!

Recommended Reading: How Does Testosterone Affect Males

When To Take Melatonin

It is essential to take melatonin at the correct time of day. Taking it too early or too late can alter a persons biological clock and shift their sleep and wake times.

The National Health Service recommend taking melatonin 12 hours before your desired bedtime which for most is around 8:00-9:00 pm.

People who are traveling and want to take melatonin to prevent jet lag should start taking this supplement a few days before they leave. This will help acclimatize their bodies to the new time zone. It is best to take melatonin 2 hours before bedtime at the destination.

A person may recover more quickly from jet lag if they take melatonin.

Taking melatonin may help with a few different health conditions, including:

  • jet lag
  • delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
  • sleep problems in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism
  • anxiety before and after surgery

One report suggests that melatonin may also provide the following benefits by:

  • protecting the heart by reducing blood pressure in people with insomnia
  • having protective effects against cancer and enhancing the impact of cancer treatments
  • reducing the damaging effects of obesity on the body by lowering inflammation
  • slowing mental decline in people with dementia

However, more research will be necessary to prove these benefits in clinical trials.

Best Form Of Melatonin

When it comes to melatonin supplements, Dr. Reiter prefers the sublingual form. The advantage of taking melatonin under the tongue is that the first pass through the liver is delayed, he said.

Whenever you swallow a tablet or capsule, it has to go through the digestive process and then be processed by the liver before it enters the bodys general circulation. Not only is this process long, but its likely that some of the substance in the pill or capsule will be lost.

The sublingual tablets dissolve in roughly 15 minutes, and shortly thereafter most of the melatonin is probably absorbed, Dr. Reiter said. You get more bang for your buck this way. For the past 17 years, hes been taking three 5 mg tablets at before bedtime.

Because most products have from 1 to 3 mg or less, you may think 15 mg is a lot. But as Dr. Reiter pointed out, the commercial] dosages are not based on anything scientific. I think they are too low. We dont take sufficient amounts of melatonin, but the problem is that nobody knows the optimum amount.

You May Like: Does Melatonin Make It Hard To Wake Up

Melatonin Dosage: How Much To Take

As previously mentioned, some melatonin brands might suggest a dose of 5 to 10 mg per night.

While this is the recommendation, most adults dont need more than 1 to 3 mg of melatonin per night. Its actually ideal to start with a dose of 0.3 mg. Children can also start with a low dose.

Of course, the right melatonin dosage for you may not be the right dose for another person. Finding the right amount is sometimes a matter of trial and error. But typically less is more. So rather than starting at a high dosage and working your way backwards, start low and work your way upwards.

Who Shouldnt Take Melatonin

Melatonin Side Effects? Are There Any?

When considering all the side effects and possible melatonin interactions with certain medication, the following groups should avoid taking melatonin;

  • People suffering from inflammatory or autoimmune diseases,
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women,
  • Ovulating women trying to get pregnant,
  • People who have responsible jobs, where sleepiness and drowsiness can cause possible safety problems,
  • People with epilepsy or a history of seizures,
  • People with mood, behavior, or personality disorders,
  • People with bleeding disorders,

Recommended Reading: Is Melatonin Safe To Take For Sleep

How Does Melatonin Make You Feel Sleepy At Night

After dark, melatonin preps your body for sleep by lowering your body temperature, blood pressure, stress hormones, and alertness. This time of night, which usually falls 2-3 hours before you go to sleep, is known as dim light melatonin onset . It marks the start of what the RISE app calls your Melatonin Window, the period when your brain produces its highest levels of melatonin that it will all night. Going to bed during this window will give you the best chance of falling asleep quickly and staying asleep through the night. The RISE app can tell you your ideal bedtime each day based on your Melatonin Window.

Be Cautious When It Comes To Supplements

Also, if you’re taking any drugs or herbs that reduce blood clotting, it’s safest that you consult a medical professional before taking melatonin, as the supplement may cause a drug interaction.

Considering it’s categorized as a dietary supplement, melatonin isn’t closely regulated by the FDA, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. With the lax regulation, there’s no guarantee that the melatonin you’re taking is accurately represented on the bottle.

There’s actually a lot of variability where melatonin labels are concerned. After testing 31 different supplements, researchers found that most of the bottles didn’t contain the listed amount of melatonin, ranging from 83 percent less to 478 percent more than the concentration on the label, per a February 2017 Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study.

Typically, bottles recommend that you take between 3 and 10 milligrams, “but the recommendations are sketchy,” Dr. Winter says. Plus, there’s no guarantee that the gummy or pill you’re taking contains any melatonin at all .

You’ll want to proceed with caution where melatonin supplements are concerned. Although melatonin isn’t necessarily harmful, the lack of regulation makes it a bit of a risk.

Instead, Dr. Winter recommends that you use the pills sparingly and try your best to practice good sleep hygiene instead.

Try These Tactics for Better Shut-Eye

Read Also: What Does Estrogen Do For You

Taking Melatonin When Pregnant

Taking melatonin during pregnancy might help protect the babys brain against damage. However, there is not enough available evidence to confirm this benefit.

A 2016 review of studies did not find any evidence that taking melatonin during pregnancy has protective effects on a fetus.

When it comes to promoting sleep, melatonin may not be the best choice during pregnancy. It might interfere with the sleep cycles of the woman and the baby.

Although melatonin is safe overall, there is not enough research on its effects during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should talk to their doctor before taking this supplement.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Melatonin

How Much Melatonin Is Safe To Take For Sleep

Melatonin isnt medicine, but you can experience side effects if youre sensitive to the supplement.

The upside is that side effects of melatonin are usually mild and subside as your body adjusts.

Side effects vary, but include:

  • Irritability
  • Headache

Melatonin has also been known to exacerbate depressive symptoms, and should be used with caution in those suffering from depression, according to Dr. Politis.

Experiencing side effects doesnt always mean that you should stop taking melatonin. The decision to stop will depend on the severity of your side effects, and whether they improve or continue.

Of course, its all about tolerance, too. If you take melatonin and repeatedly experience cramps or diarrhea the next day, you might be sensitive and need to consider other options for better sleep, perhaps chamomile tea or lavender oil.

To reduce the likelihood of side effects, always start with a low dose of melatonin. Only increase your dose as needed.

Many brands of synthetic melatonin contain 5 to 10 milligrams per serving, which is more than what people often need to regulate their sleep cycle.

Some adults only need a little melatonin, while others need more. Children can typically get by with a lesser amount, too.

This doesnt mean that you cant take 5 or 10 mg every night, but you should discuss this with your doctor first to ensure your body can handle a larger dosage.

You May Like: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker

Are Melatonin Supplements Safe

A Michigan Medicine expert explains what we know and dont know about the hormone supplement thats growing in popularity.

Sleep is essential in the pursuit of a long, healthy life. While some of us are habitual in our sleep-wake schedules, a lot of us probably arent. And more and more often, people are reaching for a melatonin supplement to improve sleep quality or duration.

A Michigan Medicine sleep expert says that while these supplements are generally safe and can be helpful, they arent as magical as some people make them out to be.

LISTEN UP: Add the new Michigan Medicine News Break to your Alexa-enabled device, or subscribe to our daily audio updates on iTunes, and Stitcher.

If taken at the appropriate time and dosage, melatonin is great for jet lag and helping night owls to fall asleep earlier, says Leslie Swanson, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in psychiatry at Michigan Medicines Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory.

Although melatonin has its benefits, Swanson notes that studies have shown minimal improvement in sleep for people with insomnia after taking a supplement. On average, results show a seven-minute decrease in the time it takes to fall asleep.

MORE FROM MICHIGAN: Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Is Melatonin Safe For Kids

There are well-done studies showing that melatonin is safe for kids if recommended by doctors, says Dr. Kolla. Because its a supplement, there is an assumption that its safe to take, but with kids, it is best to have them evaluated by a pediatrician or a sleep specialist for dosing suggestions.

Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use in both children here arent much data available concern kids) and adults, according to the Mayo Clinic. Evidence from some studies has indicated that it is especially helpful in children with autism.

Also Check: How Fast Does Testosterone Build Muscle

Jet Lag And Shift Work

Melatonin is known to reduce jet lag, especially in eastward travel. If the time it is taken is not correct, however, it can instead delay adaptation.

Melatonin appears to have limited use against the sleep problems of people who work shift work. Tentative evidence suggests that it increases the length of time people are able to sleep.

Harness The Power Of Your Bodys Natural Melatonin

Does Melatonin really work? Dr Matt explains…

Good sleep hygiene â the upkeep of behaviors that influence the way you sleep â starts first thing in the morning and is essential for optimal melatonin production. Light is the strongest of all circadian cues, and being strategic about the timing of your light exposure can help you harness the power of your bodyâs natural melatonin production and set you up for better sleep and energy outcomes.

Follow these light guidelines to optimize your sleep and energy levels:

If you manage to get your light exposure perfectly timed, but youâre still having persistent sleep problems, you may want to seek medical advice to address any possible sleep disorders or other underlying health problems. And if your doctor recommends melatonin as a sleep aid, be sure to do your homework to determine your best course of action.

Read Also: Does Melatonin Cancel Out Birth Control Implant

Is Melatonin Bad For Your Liver

Although melatonin was thought to cause serum enzyme elevation in the liver,current researchVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceshows that melatonin was not associated with this change or any other cases of liver injury. However, if you have experienced liver complications in the past, it is best to seek medical advice before taking melatonin supplements.

How Does Light Affect Melatonin Production And Sleep

Just as darkness prompts the production of melatonin, exposure to light suppresses it. That works out perfectly in the morning, as exposure to sunlight can help you feel more awake as you start your day. But light exposure at night can be problematic, especially in the 90 minutes before bedtime. Using artificial lighting at night can trick your brain into thinking itâs still daytime. Even small amounts of light exposure will inhibit or delay natural melatonin release and make it much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.

Don’t Miss: Where To Apply Bioidentical Hormone Cream

When Melatonin Can And Can’t Help

Some people with certain kinds of sleep disorders may get some relief from melatonin, research suggests, but theres less evidence for its use with more common forms of insomnia, according to the NIHs National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

A 2013 meta-analysis found that on average, people with insomnia fell asleep about 7 minutes faster with melatonin than with a placebo. While most melatonin side effects are mild, CRs survey showed that people may be taking it in unsafe ways, for example, driving too soon after taking it or taking it long term when theres little data indicating that longer than three months is safe.

Because of the lack of evidence, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends clinicians not use melatonin as a treatment for insomnia.

But that doesnt mean it cant help anyone.

About 5 to 10 percent of people may feel sleepy after taking melatonin, says Alcibiades Rodriguez, MD, the medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at New York University.

Usually the people that get more benefit are the elderly, maybe 70 or older, and young patients, he says. Thats because older patients and young children are less likely to produce sufficient melatonin on their own, though its important to consult a medical professional before giving a child melatonin. Theres still little research on melatonin in kids and some concern about how it might affect development, especially around puberty.

More articles

Popular Articles