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Melatonin

  • Used to treat sleep problems (e.g., difficulty falling asleep)
  • Tablets for oral use
  • High dosage
  • Also suitable for use in children
  • Alcohol makes this medicine less effective

About Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body that synchronizes the body’s biological day-and-night

rhythm. The body produces this hormone in the brain. Sometimes the natural production of melatonin is disturbed. For example, in people with disturbed circadian rhythms due to shift work or jetlag, or in elderly or blind people. This can lead to sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep.

Sleep problems can also be caused by other factors like stress or certain physical complaints, or can be a withdrawal symptom when you stop taking soporifics. In children, sleep problems can be related to ADHD or may be a side effect of medication.

Melatonin is used to treat poor sleep caused by these factors.

How to use Melatonin

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.

Melatonin tablets should be taken with a drink of water. The daily dose should be taken one or two hours before bedtime, or at a time indicated by your doctor.

Dosage

Melatonin is available in tablets of 1 mg, 3 mg and 5 mg. Dosage varies per person and is determined by a doctor depending on the symptoms. The general dosage guidelines are as follows:

  • Children weighing up to 40 kg: 13 mg a day.
  • Children weight more than 40 kg and adults: 25 mg a day.

If the recommended dose is too weak, your doctor may increase the dose after one or two weeks.

Alcohol/driving

Alcohol may impact the effectiveness Melatonin. It is recommended that alcohol is not consumed while taking this medicine.

Melatonin tablets do not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.

If you use more/forget to use Melatonin

If you take more Melatonin tablets than you should, talk to your doctor or pharmacist straight away.

If you forget to take a tablet and remember before going to bed, you may take the forgotten dose. In every other case you should skip the forgotten dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

When not to use Melatonin

Melatonin is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if:

  • You are allergic or melatonin or any of the other ingredients in this medicine (see section ‘What Melatonin contains').

When should this medicine be used with caution?

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Melatonin tablets if you suffer from significantly impaired liver function or kidney function.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

Other medicines and Melatonin

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken, or might take any other medicines. This includes medicines that do not require a prescription. Melatonin tablets are known to interact with the following medicines:

  • Soporifics and tranquillizers.
  • Oestrogens (used in contraceptives or hormone replacement preparations).
  • Methoxsalen (used for the treatment of psoriasis).
  • Cimetidine (stomach acid inhibitor).
  • Fluvoxamine (used for the treatment of depression).

These medicines may increase the effect of Melatonin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The following side effects are known to be associated with Melatonin tablets:

  • Headache and migraine.
  • Dizziness, sleepiness.
  • Back pain, joint pain.
  • Restlessness, irritability, nervousness, aggression.
  • Insomnia, abnormal dreams, anxiety.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and constipation.
  • Dry mouth, night sweats.
  • Watery eyes, blurred vision.
  • Allergic reactions such as itching and skin rash.

If the side effects are severe or if you get any side effects that are not listed in the package leaflet, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What Melatonin contains

The active substance is melatonin.

Package leaflet

Read the package leaflet before use. The official package leaflet of Melatonin is available for download here.

Reviewed by:

Dr Arco Verhoog, Pharmacist Registrationnumber: BIG: 19065378617 Last checked: 09-02-2024 | Still valid

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