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Buy melatonin safely, securely and easily in a few simple steps. Start a consultation today to check your eligibility with a prescribing clinician, at no cost to you.

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Manufactured by various MHRA-approved generic manufacturers


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Updated on 12 Jun 2024

What to do if you missed your melatonin dose

Report suspected side effects or adverse reactions to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) using the Yellow Card Reporting system that covers medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes and medical device incidents.

Learn more about reporting side effects

Other known brand names

Circadin, Adaflex, Ceyesto, Slenyto, Syncrodin

About Melatonin

The hormone melatonin is an antioxidant produced naturally in your body by the pineal gland to help regulate sleep-wake cycles. Your levels of melatonin increase at night, and return to their normal low levels during the day, helping to control your sleep pattern (circadian rhythm).

Melatonin sleep aid is commonly prescribed to treat short-term sleep problems in older adults over the age of 55. Sleep disorder may also be due to working night shifts and a disruption to your normal sleep cycle (shift work disorder). The use of melatonin has not however been shown to improve sleep quality.

It can also be prescribed for longer-term sleep disturbances such as delayed sleep phase in some adults, adolescents and children who may have conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It may also help with the symptoms of jetlag for those who have travelled across varying time zones.

In the U.S., melatonin is marketed as a dietary supplement. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, so melatonin is not actually FDA-approved for any medical conditions in the U.S.

It is available with a prescription as generic Melatonin or under the brand names Circadin, Adaflex, Ceyesto, Slenyto, and Syncrodin. NowPatient offers melatonin for the treatment of jet lag only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of Melatonin

  • Melatonin takes 1 to 2 hours to work
  • Melatonin is normally taken for up to 13 weeks, but you may take it for longer
  • Melatonin may cause a headache, tiredness, or a feeling of sickness or irritability the day after you take it
  • Alcohol or smoking can stop melatonin working as well as it should
  • It can be dangerous if you take melatonin with herbal remedies, as it can make you very drowsy. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician

Who is melatonin suitable for?

Melatonin is suitable for most adults, 55 years of age and over, for short-term sleep problems. Those under 55 and children with longer-term sleep problems can also take melatonin, if recommended by a specialist.

Who is melatonin not suitable for?

Melatonin may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking melatonin if you:

  • Have had an allergic reaction to melatonin previously
  • Have kidney or liver problems
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Have an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis
  • Are pregnant. If your baby is healthy, you may take melatonin while breastfeeding

How and where to get melatonin?

Melatonin is available on prescription. It is not available over the counter at a pharmacy. NowPatient does not allow customers to buy melatonin directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of jet lag, you can discuss if melatonin is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by NowPatient.

Dosage and strength for melatonin for jet lag

Melatonin is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid form and when used for jet lag, it is available as 3mg tablets. The amount of melatonin taken for jet lag is 3mg once a day for 5 days. Some melatonin products may be placed in the cheek or under the tongue to absorb faster.

Information about how to take melatonin for jet lag

The dose for jet lag is one 3mg tablet once a day, with food, for up to 5 days. You should take your first dose when you arrive at your destination, at your normal bedtime, but not before 8pm or after 4am.

If you need to take doses after this, take them at the same time. You may increase your dose to two 3mg tablets if needed. You should not use more than 16 courses of treatment in a year.

How does melatonin work?

Melatonin works by activating melatonin receptors in the brain, regulating the body’s circadian rhythm.

What happens if you take too much melatonin?

It is unlikely to harm you if you take 1 or 2 extra melatonin tablets.

What are the side effects of melatonin?

Side effects of melatonin are split into common and serious. The list below shows the common side effects of melatonin in clinical trials when compared to placebo:

  • Tiredness, sleepiness
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Dry mouth
  • Strange dreams or night sweats
  • Pain in your arms or legs

Serious side effects include:

  • Depression

If you experience any serious side effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast or struggling to breathe (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air)
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

There is little data about the long-term effects of melatonin in children or adults. Always report adverse effects to the MHRA yellow card reporting system. You can read more about this here: how and where do i report side effects of my medication

Information about taking melatonin at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

It can be dangerous if you take melatonin supplements with herbal remedies, as it can make you very drowsy. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician

Tell your healthcare provider if you’re taking any of the following medicines before taking melatonin:

  • Antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Temazepam or diazepam
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
  • Carbamazepine for epilepsy
  • Warfarin for blood clots

Why might melatonin not work for jet lag?

Melatonin may not work for you if you drink alcohol or smoke.

Will melatonin affect my contraception?

Melatonin will not affect your contraception, including emergency contraception or the combined pill. Your levels of melatonin may however increase when you take the combined pill or HRT.

Is there a herbal melatonin?

No. Herbal melatonin does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking melatonin?

You can eat and drink normally when taking melatonin, but you should avoid alcohol or smoking as they can stop melatonin working as well as it should.

Alternatives to melatonin for jet lag

Alternatives for the treatment of jet lag may include Valerian root, camomile, aromatherapy, yoga, and acupuncture.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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