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Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body but can be obtained in the form of a food supplement or medication to improve sleep quality.
Although it is a substance that is also present in the body, taking medication or supplements containing melatonin can cause some side effects, which are rare but whose probability of occurring increases with the amount of melatonin that is ingested.
Most common side effects
Melatonin is generally well tolerated and side effects that may occur during treatment are very rare. However, although it is uncommon, it can occur:
- Fatigue and excessive sleepiness;
- Lack of concentration;
- Worsening of depression;
- Headache and migraine;
- Tummy ache and diarrhea;
- Irritability, nervousness, anxiety and restlessness;
- Abnormal dreams;
- Canker sores and dry mouth;
- Dermatitis, rash and dry skin and generalized itching;
- Night Sweats;
- Chest and extremity pain;
- Menopause symptoms;
- Presence of sugar and protein in urine;
- Change in liver function;
- Increase in weight.
The intensity of the side effects will depend on the amount of melatonin ingested. The higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience any of these side effects.
Although it is generally well tolerated, melatonin should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding or in people who are allergic to any of the components of the tablets.
In addition, it should be noted that there are several different formulations and doses of melatonin, with drops being more recommended for babies and children and tablets for adults, the latter being contraindicated in children. In addition, doses greater than 1mg per day of melatonin should only be administered if prescribed by the doctor, since from this dose onwards, there is a greater risk of side effects.
Melatonin can cause drowsiness, so people who have this symptom should avoid operating machinery or driving vehicles.
How to take melatonin
Melatonin supplementation should be indicated by the doctor, and its use is usually recommended in cases of insomnia, poor sleep quality, migraine or menopause, for example. The dose of melatonin is indicated by the doctor according to the purpose of supplementation.
In the case of insomnia, for example, the dose normally indicated by the doctor is 1 to 2 mg of melatonin, once a day, about 1 to 2 hours before bedtime and after eating. The smaller dose of 800 micrograms appears to have no effect and doses greater than 5 mg should be used with caution. Learn how to take melatonin.
In the case of babies and children, the recommended dose is 1mg, administered in drops, at night.