What is melatonin?

Melatonin is one of the most popular medications for sleep disorders, as it mimics the natural hormone melatonin produced by the body and helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle (the biological clock).

Therefore, melatonin is synthetically produced and is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

It is made from the amino acid tryptophan and when ingested it is released into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid, across the blood-brain barrier, and then sends signals to receptors in the brain and other areas of the body to help control sleep-wake cycles.

Uses of melatonin

It has a number of uses, including:

  • Treatment of insomnia
  • Relieves headaches
  • Melatonin reduces the symptoms of tinnitus, and helps you fall asleep faster

Side Effects

There are many side effects that result from taking melatonin in irregular or random doses, and the most common effects in adults are:

  • Headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • Well what

The most common side effect of using this medicine for children is morning drowsiness, in addition to:

  • Involuntary urination
  • Headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • Increased risk of seizures in children with severe neurological disorders

Recommended dosage

Melatonin should be taken in prescribed doses, according to the doctor’s recommendations, as follows:

A- dosage for adults

A pathological case Recommended dosage
will fly The dose ranges from 0.5 to 5 mg, taken several hours before the intended bedtime and continues for several days after reaching the destination.
work shift The dose is 2-3 mg, taken at the end of the shift and before the intended sleep.
Heart failure The recommended starting dose is 25 mg, the dose can be increased every two weeks.
Dosage for adults

B- dosage for children

The dose for children to treat insomnia, given after consultation with a doctor, ranges from 0.5 to 3 mg, or up to 6 mg for severe insomnia sufferers.

C- Dosage for the elderly

Melatonin is given to the elderly to treat insomnia, after consulting a doctor and determining the dosage. It is 2 mg once a day for up to 13 weeks, and is taken one to two hours before bedtime.

Contraindications to the use of melatonin

There are cases in which the use of melatonin is not indicated, mainly:

  • Taking medication to lower blood pressure
  • A patient with diabetes, depression or dementia
  • The patient had a previous allergic reaction to melatonin
  • The patient is taking drugs that suppress the immune system
  • When taking other drugs that cause drowsiness, such as benzodiazepines or codeine, or if you drink alcohol

Instructions for use

There are some guidelines to keep in mind when using melatonin, including:

  • Do not take metoprolol if the patient is allergic to one of the components of the drug.
  • It should not be taken during breastfeeding and pregnancy unless under medical supervision.
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions and the recommended doses.
  • Use it with caution and under medical supervision for young people because of its danger.

Common questions

1- Are there food products containing melatonin?

Melatonin is present in many foods, and eating foods with a high content of it can cause an increase in its levels in the blood. Among these foods:

  • Nuts, especially pistachios
  • eggs and fish
  • grapes
  • cherry
  • pepper
  • Fungus

2- Is it safe to give melatonin to children?

Children can often overcome sleep problems by sticking to a consistent bedtime. For children who have trouble sleeping, melatonin is safe for short-term use and should be given under medical supervision. It should also be noted that the long-term effects of the drug are still unknown.

When giving this medicine to a child, start with the lowest possible dose and then increase it only if necessary after consulting your pediatrician.

3- Is it possible to drink alcohol at the same time as this medicine?

It is forbidden to drink alcohol while taking melatonin, because it reduces its medicinal effectiveness and may increase the side effects.

4- Is there a good time to take melatonin?

It is recommended to take melatonin 1-2 hours before the desired sleep, which is usually between 8 and 11

People who are traveling and want to prevent jet lag should start taking their medication a few days before they travel, this will help the body adjust to the new time zone.

5- Is melatonin addictive?

According to the National Sleep Foundation “The National Sleep Fund” Experts do not believe that melatonin is addictive in the short term. Unlike other sleeping pills, it does not cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it.

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