Melatonin

Melatonin

Melatonin
Melatonin is an herbal remedy for a variety of conditions, but most commonly for insomnia and other sleep disorders due to jet lag or shift-work disorder. This natural hormone starts to decline in production as you grow older and as a dietary supplement can be used to regulate your internal body clock and act as a sleep aid. As with any herbal supplements please consult your health provider for treatment, correct dosage, benefits and risk factors.

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  • 8 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    The pineal gland produces a substance called melatonin, which conducts the symphony of your hormones.

    Melatonin modulates menstruation, helps control desire for mating, helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, increases immune function, and helps decrease stress by blocking the body's stress response. Plus, it helps regulate sleep.

    If you're a trivia expert, you may remember melatonin as the neurotransmitter that helps bears hibernate. Its levels peak at night and during winter months. (Serotonin, which converts to melatonin, helps regulate our daytime activity.)

    When the lights go out, your pineal senses that and starts producing melatonin. When you lose melatonin (which is also found in the gut, by the way), you lose your normal sleep pattern, which then cascades into a whole host of health problems.
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    Taking Melatonin have not reported effects on causing or darkening brown spots on the face.  Because it is not approved by the FDA, it has not undergone controlled studies to fully examine side effects.

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements like melatonin There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. A maximum safe dose has not been determined. Better research is needed in this area. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with your doctor or other healthcare provider.

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    Based on information from iGuard.org, a free medication monitoring service, 3% of patients experience side effects while taking Melatonin. Some of the side effects reported by iGuard members include grogginess/confusion. Please follow up with your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms that worsen or do not go away.
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    A , Pulmonary Disease, answered
    Who should not take melatonin?

    Melatonin helps your body transition into sleep mode, but it won't help you stay asleep if you have trouble maintaining sleep. Watch internist and sleep expert Carol Ash, DO, explain why melatonin is not a good option if you can't maintain sleep.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Certain medications may increase your risk for complications associated with melatonin. Many common drugs have the potential of interacting with melatonin. Before taking this or any other medication, talk to your doctor about possible interactions associated with your dosage of melatonin.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Dr. Michael Breus - Should I let my doctor know I am taking melatonin?
    Although melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, it can still carry risk. In this video, sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus explains why you should make sure your doctor knows you're using melatonin to help you sleep better.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Until you know how you will react to melatonin, you should not drive or operate any heavy machinery.

    Additionally, certain medications may increase your risk for complications associated with melatonin. Many common drugs have the potential of interacting with melatonin. Before taking this or any other medication, talk to your doctor about possible interactions associated with your dosage of melatonin.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    As a supplement, melatonin has been used to treat insomnia; to aid in withdrawal from the use of benzodiazepines (drugs commonly used as relaxants or sedatives like Valium and Xanax); and to improve sleep in children with ADHD.

    Melatonin has been shown effective in treating people who have altered circadian rhythms (like people with jet lag or who work night shifts) or who suffer from disrupted sleep (like older people and schizophrenics). For menopause, melatonin may help with associated sleep problems, but it does not relieve other menopause symptoms. For both breast and prostate cancer, melatonin may help in the treatment of those cancers. Melatonin may help improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines. It also may help improve sleep in children with ADHD.

    Sometimes it is used to treat sunburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and epilepsy. For sunburn, melatonin may be used as a topical ointment, gel, or lotion to prevent skin damage. When used for irritable bowel syndrome, this supplement may help relieve abdominal pain and other symptoms of this condition. Some studies have shown that melatonin might reduce seizure frequency in children who have epilepsy.

    Melatonin can interact with certain medications and may not be safe for all people, however, so talk to your doctor before using it.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Dr. Michael Breus - What are the risks of taking melatonin?
    Like most supplements, taking melatonin -- which can help with sleep problems -- has its risks. In this video, sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus shares the signs to look for if your melatonin use is causing issues.