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Is Long-term Use of Melatonin Safe?

Is Long-term Use of Melatonin Safe?

Up to half of all people in the United States have difficulty sleeping on occasion. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) affects one in every three persons on a long-term basis. Adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are even more sleep-deprived. In 2015, it was reported that 6 out of 10 middle school students and 7 out of 10 high school students slept less than the required amount.

So it's no surprise that many individuals turn to over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids. Melatonin, an over-the-counter dietary supplement used to improve good sleep patterns, is a popular option. In fact, it's so popular that consumers in the United States spent $378 million on melatonin pills alone in 2014. But is it safe to take melatonin on a regular basis?
We'll go through what we know about the short- and long-term consequences of using melatonin supplements in the sections below.

Is Long-term Use of Melatonin Safe

What exactly is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone, or chemical messenger, produced by your brain as it becomes dark at night. It sends a signal to the rest of your body that it's time to sleep and aids in the regulation of your sleep cycle. Melatonin is also synthesized in a lab and is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

Melatonin pills are often used to treat jet lag, sleep difficulties, and anxiety before or after surgical operations. However, due to a lack of supporting data, many health professionals, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), do not suggest taking it for insomnia.

Things to think about before taking melatonin
Before using any dietary supplement, including melatonin, consult with your healthcare professional or pharmacist. Even though melatonin is a natural chemical, it is not always safer than other over-the-counter sleep aids such as Unisom (doxylamine). There may still be interactions with drugs, medical conditions, or foods such as alcohol.
The Problem with Dietary Supplements
Melatonin has not been authorized by the FDA for any medical condition. Furthermore, because melatonin is a dietary supplement, it is not as strictly monitored by the FDA as prescription drugs are. This implies that firms selling melatonin are not required to conduct the same study to establish how safe and effective their medication is before it can be marketed on the market.

Unfortunately, less regulation may imply that your melatonin product is not as potent as or stronger than the bottle promises. According to one research, more than 70% of melatonin pills included a considerably different quantity of melatonin than what was claimed on the package. For example, one product contained nearly five times the amount of melatonin in each dose than another.

What is the safest amount of melatonin to take?

Melatonin supplements are available in a variety of concentrations, most often ranging from 1 mg to 12 mg. For individuals who are using melatonin for the first time, a typical dose is 3 mg. A meta-analysis of various trials found no negative effects at this level. Melatonin, on the other hand, might have short-term adverse effects.

Melatonin side effects are usually minor and might include:
2. Headache
3. Nausea
4. Dizziness
Is it safe to use melatonin for a short period of time?
According to current studies, most people should be able to utilize melatonin safely for a short period of time. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough study done to determine what periods of time are deemed short and long term. If your sleep issues persist for more than a few weeks, it's time to see your doctor. This is to ensure that you don't have another medical problem causing your sleeplessness and to provide you the best therapy possible.

Is it safe to use melatonin on a long-term basis?

There aren't enough research to establish whether taking melatonin for an extended period of time in adults or children is safe. According to a few scientific research, long-term melatonin administration may induce modest adverse effects when compared to placebo (a pill with no medication in it). More study, however, is required to ensure the long-term safety of melatonin supplementation.

Is it safe to take melatonin every night?

Some individuals do, but it's better to check with your doctor to see whether this is appropriate for you. Melatonin can also be administered on an as-needed basis. When using any sleep aid, it's recommended to start with the smallest amount that works for you. And, unless otherwise recommended by a healthcare expert, you should discontinue using sleep aids if your sleep issues improve.

The good news is that studies show that people do not get addicted to melatonin, even after long-term use. Melatonin may be a viable choice if you are concerned about the habit-forming nature of some prescription sleep drugs. However, some people discover that melatonin stops working for them after a time.

Does long-term melatonin consumption pose any health risks?

Due to a dearth of high-quality studies, the health consequences of long-term melatonin consumption remain unclear. However, melatonin does not appear to create any severe difficulties based on the research thus far.

Some specialists are concerned that melatonin supplements may have a harmful impact on puberty and male reproductive health. More study is required to evaluate whether each fear is valid.

There is currently insufficient data to tell if melatonin is safe to use during pregnancy or lactation. Pregnant or lactating women should see their doctor before using melatonin.

Is melatonin suitable for children?

Experts are divided on whether this is the case. According to current studies, short-term melatonin usage appears to be safe for most youngsters. However, clinical trials on melatonin in children are few. As a result, there are no clear guidelines on how much melatonin to give children, for how long, or if it is safe in the long run.

Low amounts, according to some research, may help youngsters sleep. A healthcare expert, however, should tailor the dose to your child's specific needs. Before administering melatonin supplements to your children or teenagers, consult with their healthcare professional.