Healthline: People are taking high doses of melatonin to sleep: Why experts are concerned
UC expert says taking too much melatonin could disrupt our sleep-wake cycle
According to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more people are taking supplemental melatonin, and at increasingly high doses. Researchers point out these findings raise safety concerns since the actual dose of melatonin supplements could be nearly 500% higher than the label indicates. In a story published by Healthline, Sarah Gallucci, DO, of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine was one of the experts cited reacting to the letter.
“Melatonin is considered a dietary supplement and is not FDA approved for safety or effectiveness,” confirmed Sarah Gallucci, DO, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the UC College of Medicine.
She added that there is an organization that confirms the claimed dosage and purity of some brands.
“Supplements that are verified by the United States Pharmacopeial convention are the most reliable,” said Gallucci. “USP verified supplements are tested to ensure that the potency and amounts match the label and that the product does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants.”
Gallucci added that melatonin is considered “generally safe,” with few serious adverse effects.
“The most common side effects are headache, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue,” she said.
Gallucci cautioned that taking too much melatonin could disrupt our sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
“Safe starting doses range from 2 to 5 mg,” she advised. “Melatonin does not have any addictive potential, which can be seen with some prescription sleep medications.”
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