An increasing number of individuals are using over-the-counter melatonin to fall asleep, and some may be doing so at risky doses, a research has revealed.
However, the study “documents a significant many-fold increase in melatonin use in the past few years,” according to sleep expert Rebecca Robbins, an instructor in the division of sleep medicine for Harvard Medical School.
Despite the fact that general use among US adults is still “relatively low,” Robbins said that the study’s findings “indicate a significant many-fold increase in melatonin use.” She wasn’t a part of the research.
Melatonin has been associated with a variety of symptoms including headaches, nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, sleepiness, confusion or disorientation, irritability, moderate anxiety, sadness, tremors, and unusually low blood pressure.
Both allergies and popular drugs may be affected by it.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health states that long-term safety is uncertain, despite the fact that short-term usage for persons with jet lag, shift workers, and those who have difficulties falling asleep appears to be safe.
In an associational investigation, Robbins and colleagues discovered that older persons who reported often using a sleep aid (over-the-counter or prescribed) had a greater risk of incident dementia and early mortality. The sort of sleep aid that caused the results, whether it be over-the-counter drugs like melatonin or prescription drugs, could not be identified by researchers.
The study discovered that since 2006, a small but expanding minority of individuals have been using melatonin dosages that are far higher than the standard short-term therapy dosage of 5 milligrams per day.
However, the melatonin levels in tablets for sale could be substantially greater than what is shown on the label. There are no government requirements that firms test tablets to make sure they contain the quantity of melatonin promised since, unlike medications and food, melatonin is not completely controlled by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Additionally, there are no regulations that businesses analyze their melatonin pills offered in stores and online for potentially dangerous hidden components. Serotonin, “a hormone that can have harmful effects even at relatively low levels,” was discovered in 26% of the melatonin supplements in earlier tests, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.