Side Effects Of Melatonin: 8 Groups Should Avoid Taking Melatonin
Melatonin, also known as the hormone of darkness is a hormone responsible for the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. However, promoting and regulating sleep is only one of its physiological functions.
This hormone plays an important role in bodily functions, the functions of organs like the kidney or liver, and helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. Melatonin is also shown useful in cases of tumors and cancers, where it prevents oxidative stress to promote the growth of cancerous cells.
Now, all of this sounds rather impressive, and sure enough, because melatonin is a naturally produced hormone coming from the very brain, no one would suspect it harmful. However, melatonin supplements, on the other hand, are raising some eyebrows in the medical community.
Over the past few years, melatonin supplements have been studied concerning their possible side effects. Turns out, melatonin intake can cause a dozen of adverse effects, which can pose a long-term danger. In the following paragraphs, well take a look at the major side effects, every melatonin producing company would hide from you. So, lets get started!
Cardiovascular Benefits Of Melatonin In Ckd Patients
In the same paper, the researchers hypothesized that melatonin may improve blood pressure levels in patients with kidney disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death among CKD patients, and while the reasons for this are unclear, the researchers propose that reduced melatonin levels may play a role.
Even in healthy individuals, blood pressure drops in the evening and rises in the morning. This is normal, but CKD patients often have an excessive blood pressure spike in the morning hours, and their levels tend to be higher during the day. Even after receiving a kidney transplant, patients still show higher blood pressure levels. Its thought that some impairment in melatonin production may be the cause, and therefore, melatonin supplements may be part of the solution.
Other studies have shown a similar benefit. A 2019 paper stated that long-term treatment with melatonin was associated with vasoprotection and decreased oxidative stress and inflammation in mice. However, its not known if the same effects have been established in humans.
Although research on melatonin in kidney disease is still in its early stages, the hormone shows promise in treating multiple facets of the condition. One day, it may be a part of conventional kidney disease treatment.
Is A Melatonin Supplement Safer Than Other Sleeping Pills
For some people, melatonin can be just as effective at helping you fall asleep as prescription sleeping pills. But, you may wake feeling a little fresher. Prescription sleep aids can cause people to feel groggy and slow their reaction times the next day. Melatonin typically doesnt have this effect. Melatonin should not be combined with a prescription drug without first consulting the prescribing provider.
If your doctor has prescribed you a medication, its for a reason. Never stop a prescription without discussing it with your doctor first. The information in this article is not intended to replace your doctors advice.
Prescription sleeping pills can be addictive. Melatonin is showing the potential to help get patients off of long-term prescription sleeping pills and offers a safer alternative.
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What Medications And Substances Does Melatonin Interact With
Melatonin may interact with several different types of medications, including:
- Blood-thinning medications. Taking melatonin with blood-thinning medication may increase your risk for bleeding.
- Epilepsy medications . Melatonin may make these medications less effective.
- Immunosuppressants. Melatonin can potentially interfere with immunosuppressive drugs.
- Diabetes medications. Melatonin use can affect blood sugar levels.
- Blood pressure medications. Blood pressure may get worse when melatonin is taken with these medications.
- Contraceptive drugs.Birth control pills may increase the risk of side effects from melatonin.
Because melatonin supplements can make you tired and drowsy, avoid mixing them with:
- other sleep aids
Protective Effect Of Melatonin Related To Autophagy
Autophagy plays a cardinal contribution in renal I/R injury. Injurious autophagy may lead to the release of excessive ROS and pro apoptotic factors, which ultimately cause cell death . Yang et al. suggested that a major pathway for melatonin-induced autophagy in I/R injury involves activating the TLR4-MyD88 signaling pathway . Mitogen-activated protein kinases pathways is actived by the MyD88 pathway . Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 , a convergence point for many upstream pathways, including MAPKs, regulates autophagy. Yang et al. revealed that melatonin-induced autophagy among renal I/R mice was dependent on downregulation of mTORC1 by its upstream activator, the TLR4/MyD88 .
Otherwise, it is known that phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase /AKT/mTOR pathway perform a core effect to regulate cell survival, as well as cell growth, and proliferation . Another important finding of Chang YC was that PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signaling pathway was significantly upregulated in the I/R kidney, while melatonin can significantly inhibit this signal pathway . It was claimed that the activation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling under the I/R condition is the internal response of tissue or organs to I/R , and melatonin could reverse this situation .
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Conclusion And Future Perspectives
Given the increasing prevalence of AKI and CKD worldwide, continued breakthroughs in the field of MSC-based therapy have a large potential impact and social benefits. Numerous clinical trials have confirmed the tolerability and safety of MSC treatment in kidney disease. However, some concerns regarding their unproven therapeutic effects in clinical applications remain due to their reduced cell function after transplantation. In this review, we summarized the currently available studies in which melatonin was used as a preconditioning substrate to enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs in kidney disease. These studies definitively demonstrate the superiority of this strategy both in vivo and ex vivo.
In terms of mechanism, the benefits of melatonin include but are not limited to its antioxidative and anti-inflammation effects. Current evidence indicates that melatonin preconditioning can also significantly enhance the proliferative, prosurvival, paracrine secretion and migratory abilities of MSCs after transplantation. One major advantage of this strategy over other preconditioning methods is the safety issue melatonin can be applied as a dietary complement. However, at the moment, there are no available articles comparing the ability of melatonin with that of other preconditioning methods to enhance the capacity of MSCs. Whether melatonin preconditioning is superior to other preconditioning strategies should be explored in future studies.
How Does A Melatonin Supplement Work
Melatonin promotes sleepiness by inhibiting the signals in the brain that promote wakefulness.
As with most supplements, when the body doesnt have enough of something, taking a supplement is one way to increase that substance in the body.
So, for sleep difficulties, taking a melatonin supplement one to two hours before bedtime may boost your melatonin levels and help you to fall asleep.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
Some medicines and melatonin can interfere with each other and increase your risk of side effects.
Certain medicines may increase or decrease the drowsy-making effects of melatonin.
Speak to a doctor or pharmacist before taking melatonin if you take any of the following:
- antidepressants such as fluvoxamine or imipramine
- blood pressure lowering medicines
- zaleplon, zolpidem or zopiclone
Melatonin Use Linked To Lower Risk For Vancomycin
Melatonin, a commonly used sleep aid, may significantly reduce the risk for acute kidney injury in patients treated with vancomycin, according to a new observational study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
In a retrospective cohort study at a large community medical center, researchers examined 303 hospitalized adult patients treated with vancomycin from January 2016 to September 2020. After controlling for potential confounders, melatonin use was significantly associated with 63% decreased odds of AKI.
The cohort consisted of 101 patients treated with melatonin as part of ordinary care and 202 control patients. The melatonin and control groups had a mean age of 60.9 and 64.4 years, respectively. The primary endpoint was development of AKI, defined as an absolute increase in serum creatinine of 0.3 mg/dL or higher or a 50% or greater increase in serum creatinine level. Both groups had similar characteristics, but the treatment group had a significantly higher incidence of bacteremia/sepsis .
We also suspect that melatonin alleviates mitochondrial stress. There are data that suggest damaged mitochondrial function in early AKI. Perhaps melatonin functions to alleviate oxidative stress and restore mitochondrial balance, Dr Brunetti said.
On univariate analysis, concomitant use of piperacillin-tazobactam and loop diuretics was significantly associated with 3.9-fold and 3.4-fold increased odds of AKI, respectively.
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Kidney Impairment Can Be Costly
Although renal impairment is often reversible if the offending drug is discontinued, the condition can be costly and may require multiple interventions, including hospitalization, Dr. Naughton explained. To help you avoid getting to that point, we learned about medications that commonly cause kidney damage from Rebekah Krupski, PharmD, RPh, pharmacy resident at the Cleveland Clinic and clinical instructor of pharmacy practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Can Melatonin Help Kids Fall Asleep
If your child is struggling to fall asleep at night or get sufficient sleep, melatonin supplements are a possible short-term strategy for helping them achieve quality sleep. Research on the use of melatonin in children is limited. However, studies of select groups of children provide promising evidence of melatonins effectiveness in initiating sleep.
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Implication For Health Policy/practice/research/medical Education:
Recent studies shown that melatonin administration, attenuated oxidative stress, inflammation, and restored renal function and structure in rats. Melatonin could be an attractive adjunctive therapy, since it is a natural, inexpensive, widely available, orally administered and relatively safe product.
Does Melatonin Work For Shift Workers
Shift work that involves night shifts may cause people to feel sleepy at work and make it difficult to sleep during the daytime after a shift ends.
According to two 2014 research reviews, studies on whether melatonin supplements help shift workers were generally small or inconclusive.
- The first review looked at 7 studies that included a total of 263 participants. The results suggested that people taking melatonin may sleep about 24 minutes longer during the daytime, but other aspects of sleep, such as time needed to fall asleep, may not change. The evidence, however, was considered to be of low quality.
- The other review looked at 8 studies , with a total of 300 participants, to see whether melatonin helped promote sleep in shift workers. Six of the studies were high quality, and they had inconclusive results. The review did not make any recommendations for melatonin use in shift workers.
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Assessment Of The Risk Of Bias
The methodological quality was assessed by using the CAMARADES 10-item checklist: peer-reviewed journal temperature control animals were randomly allocated blind established model blinded outcome assessment anesthetics used without marked intrinsic neuroprotective properties animal model calculation of sample size statement of compliance with animal welfare regulations possible conflicts of interest .
Two reviewers assessed the risk of bias. Bias was marked as high or low risk, as well as unclear indicated that the risk of bias was unclear. The symbol + was used to marked low risk, and it was also recorded as the point of quality score. Agreement over the quality assessment was determined using the Kw. The Kw value > 0.75 was accepted. Disagreements were resolved through discussion with the third reviewers .
What Is A Safe Melatonin Dose
According to Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, melatonin is very safe if taken in normal doses, which is anything between 0.5 mg and 5 mg.
A 0.5 mg dose may be all thats needed for sleep-cycle regulation, and should be taken three to five hours before bed, he says. For people who want to take melatonin just before bed, a 5 mg dose is appropriate. Some people report headaches or stomach problems at higher doses, but those side-effects are uncommon, he says.
Still, there are other concerns. Melatonin has an incredible safety record, no doubt about it, says Dr. Mark Moyad, the Jenkins/Pomkempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan. But its a hormone, and you dont want to mess around with hormones until you know what theyre doing.
People with existing medical problems should discuss melatonin with their doctor before using it. While some research has found that melatonin may help treat hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, for example, other studies have shown that, in diabetes patients who carry certain genetic traits, melatonin may interfere with glucose regulation. Its these sorts of contradictory findings that give experts pause when it comes to issuing melatonin a full-throated endorsement.
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Side Effects Of Melatonin
Melatonin is considered relatively safe for short-term use and has few risks. However, some children who take melatonin supplements may experience mild symptoms. These symptoms may include bedwetting, drowsiness, headaches, and agitation.
Currently, there is little research on the long-term effects of melatonin use in children. Some experts question if melatonin, because it is a hormone, can affect other hormonal development in adolescents. Further research must be conducted to more clearly understand the long-term effects of melatonin on children.
How Does Melatonin Work
Natural melatonin is predominantly made in your pineal gland, which is located in your brain. Light exposure inhibits the production of melatonin, but darkness stimulates it.
Melatonin levels in your brain begin to increase at dusk as the sun goes down and darkness falls. They reach their peak levels in the middle of the night and start decreasing as dawn gets closer.
The action of melatonin inhibits signals in your brain that promote wakefulness. This helps encourage sleep by making you feel tired or drowsy as you get closer to bedtime.
Because of melatonins sleep-promoting effects, melatonin supplements are used to treat a variety of sleep problems. These can include:
Melatonin typically takes 1 to 2 hours to work, so its often taken up to 2 hours before bedtime.
If youre looking to try melatonin for the first time, it may be best to begin with a lower dose. Your doctor can help recommend a safe dose for you to start with.
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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene can also improve sleep quality and quantity. Research shows that good sleep hygiene alone can eliminate pediatric insomnia in 50% of the instances in which melatonin is suggested for treatment. The combination of sleep hygiene and melatonin is more effective at improving sleep in children than melatonin alone.
A bedtime routine at a consistent time each night provides comfort to help your child fall asleep. Your bedtime routine can include soothing activities such as taking a bath and reading a book or singing lullabies.
Experts also recommend that parents limit their childrens use of electronics in the hours before bedtime. The blue light from devices, such as phones, tablets, TVs, and video game consoles, can delay the onset of natural melatonin release.
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Is Melatonin Safe For Babies
Melatonin is not recommended for infants. Melatonin concentrations are quite low in babies three months and younger, and their circadian systems are still developing. At this time, there are no long-term studies on melatonin use in babies.
If your infant struggles to sleep, talk to your pediatrician. They can help you identify possible causes and develop a treatment plan.
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Melatonin And Children With Adhd
As many as 70% of children with ADHD experience sleep problems. They frequently experience excessive daytime sleepiness caused by initial insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep at night.
Studies show that children with ADHD who take melatonin experience improved sleep. One study found a reduction in insomnia, leading to children falling asleep an average of 16 minutes earlier.
Who Shouldnt Take Melatonin
When considering all the side effects and possible melatonin interactions with certain medication, the following groups should avoid taking melatonin
- People suffering from inflammatory or autoimmune diseases,
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women,
- Ovulating women trying to get pregnant,
- People who have responsible jobs, where sleepiness and drowsiness can cause possible safety problems,
- People with epilepsy or a history of seizures,
- People with mood, behavior, or personality disorders,
- People with bleeding disorders,
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What To Know About Dietary Supplements And Safety
The FDA classifies melatonin as a dietary supplement, meaning that its regulated less strictly than a regular drug. For dietary supplements, label claims and product safety dont have to meet FDA approval before theyre marketed.
A 2017 study of 31 different melatonin supplements found that the actual melatonin content of 71 percent of the products didnt match the claim on the label. Additionally, 26 percent of products contained serotonin, which can be potentially harmful even in small doses.
When shopping for melatonin supplements, look for products that are USP verified. United States Pharmacopeia is an independent organization that works to ensure proper quality and dosing of dietary supplements.
Melatonin For Older Adults
The amount of melatonin your body produces decreases with age. Because of this, melatonin supplements may be helpful for older adults who are having trouble falling asleep.
Researchers are still looking into the optimal melatonin dosage for older adults. One 2016 review of sleep aids for older adults suggests a dosage of 1 to 2 mg of immediate-release melatonin 1 hour before bedtime.
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