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Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, more commonly known as the “biological clock”. Melatonin is synthetically manufactured and is available on prescription or over the counter in the U.S. it is prescribed for people who have insomnia (sleeplessness), sleep disturbances due to certain anti-hypertensive drugs, jet-lag, anxiety before any surgery, sunburns and for those who have a low level of platelets in the blood.  

Melatonin sends messages to the receptor agonist in the brain and other areas of the body to help control the sleep and wake cycles. Drowsiness generally occurs within 30 minutes after taking a dose. Melatonin can be consumed orally, can be administered intramuscularly, or can be kept the tongue. 

A usual dose of 1–5mg that can vary from 0.5 to 10 mg, depending on the severity of symptoms, is recommended. A dose as small as 0.3 mg, which is equivalent to the amount produced naturally is the body is also ideal. For children, a smaller dosage ranging from 0.5-1mg is optimum. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests that modified-release tablets should be taken with or after food and immediate-release formulations should be taken on an empty stomach, ideally 2 hours before or after eating. 

Headache, dizziness, grogginess after waking up, nausea, and diarrhea are the common side-effects of synthetic melatonin. It is not recommended in pregnancy, for lactating women, the elderly, and those with already diagnosed liver, kidney, or heart diseases. 

These declarations come from the manufacturer of this medication and should not constitute medical advice. Please consult a doctor to see if this medication is right for you and how you should use it. Relief Seeker provides information about products and their manufacturers and does not offer any medical advice.