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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: melatonin (Pronunciation: meh lah TOE nin)

What is melatonin ()?

The use of melatonin in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal/health supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Melatonin is also known as MEL. Melatonin is naturally produced in the body in response to the perception of light.

Melatonin has been used to ease insomnia, combat jet lag, protect cells from free-radical damage, boost the immune system, prevent cancer, and extend life.

Melatonin has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of melatonin may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Melatonin may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of melatonin ()?

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to melatonin have been reported. Stop taking melatonin and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects have also been reported. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about melatonin ()?

The use of melatonin derived from animal pineal tissue may carry the risk of contamination or the means of transmitting viral material. The synthetic form of melatonin does not carry this risk.

Melatonin has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of melatonin may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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