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Generic Name: melatonin

It is promoted to help maintain normal sleep patterns
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What is this medicine?

MELATONIN (mel uh TOH nin) is a dietary supplement. It is promoted to help maintain normal sleep patterns. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This supplement may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • cancer
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • immune system problems
  • liver disease
  • seizure disorder
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to melatonin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this supplement by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or take as directed by your health care professional. Do not chew or crush this medicine. Do not take this medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this supplement in children. This supplement is not recommended for use in children.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply; this medicine is not for regular use. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Check with your doctor or healthcare professional if you are taking any of the following medications:
  • hormone medicines
  • medicines for blood pressure like nifedipine
  • medications for anxiety, depression, or other emotional or psychiatric problems
  • medications for seizures
  • medications for sleep
  • other herbal or dietary supplements
  • stimulant medicines like amphetamine, dextroamphetamine
  • tamoxifen
  • treatments for cancer or immune disorders

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Do not take this supplement for more than 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Talk to your doctor before you use this supplement if you are currently being treated for an emotional, mental, or sleep problem. This medicine may interfere with your treatment.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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