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Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

 In Mental Health

Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep cycle, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm. Normally, your brain’s pineal gland naturally produces this hormone. However, you can also acquire minimal amounts of melatonin from fruits and vegetables or varying amounts from over-the-counter supplements. 

High melatonin levels allow you to sleep while low levels allow you to wake up. Typically, melatonin levels are usually high in the evening and at night and are low in the morning and during the day.

Medical professionals will prescribe melatonin supplements to people who find it difficult to sleep. Melatonin is a very popular sleep aid with sales projections of over $1billion. However, some people may abuse melatonin by taking more than prescribed or mixing it with other medications. Such abuse can lead to melatonin overdose. 

A case of melatonin may not be fatal, but it can cause serious and uncomfortable side effects. It is important to get help if you have a substance use disorder or an overdose. 

What Are The Symptoms of Melatonin Overdose?

People experience varying symptoms of melatonin overdose. Some individuals may feel more awake if they take excess melatonin. Others may experience nightmares, intense dreams, and feel sleepy at an unintended time. 

Other common symptoms of melatonin overdose include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Headaches.
  • Crankiness.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Joint pain. 

What Is The Appropriate Dosage of Melatonin?

The correct dosage of melatonin varies among individuals. It depends on factors like age, weight, and general reaction to the supplement. One person may experience side effects for a given dosage while another may not experience any side effects. 

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On average, an adult should take between 0.2mg to 5mg of melatonin. Doctors usually advise individuals to start with a low dosage to assess its impact on your body. Thus, you can gradually increase the dose if it is not effective. 

Doctors will only prescribe melatonin to a child who finds it hard to sleep due to a neurodevelopmental disorder and  However, the doctors will prescribe very low dosages for children. 1 mg to 5 mg may cause young children to experience seizures or other serious side effects.

You should also note that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to regulate melatonin. Thus, the concentration of melatonin in a supplement will vary with the manufacturer. 

Can You Use Melatonin and Other Substances?

People should be very wary about mixing drugs because they can cause deadly combinations. Melatonin does affect blood pressure in some people. People who take medication to lower the blood pressure like calcium beta-blockers and channel blockers have a low natural melatonin production. 

However, they need a doctor’s guidance before they take any melatonin supplements. 

You should avoid using melatonin supplements if you take birth control pills. Birth control pills cause an increase in the production of natural melatonin. You risk an overdose if you mix with melatonin supplements. There is a higher risk of bleeding if you take melatonin drugs with anticoagulant drugs like coumadin. 

Alcohol and caffeine interrupt your circadian rhythm. Thus, you should avoid taking either or both of them with melatonin supplements. 

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How Can You Treat Melatonin Overdose?

The treatment approach for a case of melatonin overdose depends on how severe your symptoms are. In case of an emergency, the doctor will seek to stabilize your condition before proceeding with further treatment. 

The doctor can issue medications if you experience breathing difficulties or chest pains. Otherwise, it would be best if you immediately reduced or stopped taking melatonin dosages. 

You can engage in professional detox services to detox from other substances safely. There is no research to prove it is unsafe to stop using melatonin immediately. Consult with your doctor for an alternative sleep aid if you experience any side effects from melatonin supplements. 

Get Treatment for Substance Use Disorder at AmHealth Behavioral

AmHealth Behavioral is a facility that offers all comprehensive treatment programs for individuals battling substance use disorder or co-occurring mental issues. We have treatment centers in Los Angeles, California, to focus on each program we offer. 

We have NOVO Detox to offer the detoxification process, which is the first treatment you get. As you advance into inpatient treatment, our 310 Residential centers will provide a safe environment to cope with withdrawal. You can get partial hospitalization and outpatient services at the Overland Intensive Outpatient center. Our Bluffs Sober Living center offers sober living and outpatient services.  

We also offer a variety of therapies alongside other programs to help heal your body and mind. Contact us now to discuss a personalized treatment plan for you or your loved one. 

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Final Word

Many individuals have difficulties sleeping and rely on sleep aids. Your body regulates your sleep cycle, typically by producing the melatonin hormone in the brain. You can also get minimal amounts of melatonin from fruits and vegetables. Varying amounts are present in melatonin supplements. The amount depends on the manufacturer. 

However, melatonin may be effective for some people, ineffective for others, and may negatively affect some. Melatonin has some potential side effects, so you need to talk to your doctor before use and strictly adhere to their recommendations or the dosage they give. 

People can suffer from melatonin overdose. Adults should only take 0.2mg to 5mg of melatonin. Furthermore, it would be best if you started with small doses to assess your body’s reaction to the supplement. If small doses are ineffective, talk to your doctor about increasing the dosage. You should keep your melatonin supplements away from the reach of children. 

Doctors only prescribe very low doses of melatonin to children who lack sleep due to a neurodevelopmental disorder.  Higher dosages ranging from 1 mg to 5 mg may cause serious side effects such as seizures. 

Melatonin overdose occurs due to taking over the prescribed dose or mixing with other substances such as alcohol or medication. Some signs of an overdose include headaches, anxiety, dizziness, and more. It would be best if you refrained from mixing melatonin with other substances like alcohol, caffeine, and birth control pills. Mixing drugs and substances can form fatal combinations. 

Melatonin overdose is treatable, but the treatment approach will depend on your overdose symptoms. It is important to get help for any substance use disorder or overdose. Contact AmHealth Behavioral for personalized treatment and care for you or your loved one. 

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