Major therapeutic interest

  • Reducing jet lag;
  • Treating sleep disorders in the elderly;
  • Relieving secondary insomnia caused by Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Treating migraine and Horton’s headache (preventing remission).

Other therapeutic interest / Traditional Use

  • Treating sleep disorders linked to intellectual difficulties in children: Reducing sleep onset latency;
  • As an additive, reducing the toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


  • Should be administered under medical supervision to people suffering from severe illness (cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.) or children;
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding;
  • Women who wish to become pregnant as high doses inhibit ovulation;
  • Can aggravate symptoms in asthmatics;
  • Should be used with caution by people under age 21 as they are still growing;
  • It is recommended to wait 4 to 5 hours after taking it before resuming activities requiring alertness (driving a vehicle, using dangerous machines, working at heights, etc.);
  • Diabetes: Use carefully, with closely monitored blood glucose levels;
  • Depression: May aggravate dysphoria (mood disturbance).

Important Notice

  • Avoid natural source melatonin (of animal origin) due to possible risk of contamination. However, pineal gland extracts are rare on the market and most products are synthetic.

Drug Interactions

Known human interactions

  • Heightens the effect of Coumadin;
  • Luvox increases the effect of melatonin;
  • Decreases the effect of Procardia XL: increases blood pressure;
  • Increases the sedative effect of Prosac;
  • Decreases insomnia caused by Inderal and Atenolol;
  • May decrease the effect of insulin and oral antidiabetic medications (Actos, Diabeta, Diamicron, Avandia, Glucophage [Metformine], etc.)

Suspected interactions

  • May heighten the effect of anticoagulant/antithrombotic drugs (Coumadin, Lovenox, heparin, etc.), antiplatelets (Plavix, Ticlid), as well as salicylic acid derivatives (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA, Aspirin, Entrophen, etc.) and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (Voltaren, Ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin], Naprosyn, etc.);
  • May decrease endogenous levels of melatonin with chronic administration of benzodiazepines (insomnia drugs and sedatives);
  • May increase the sedative effect of drugs acting on the central nervous system: Ativan, Lectopam, Oxazepam, Valium, Xanax, barbiturates, etc. and alcohol;
  • Oral contraceptives may increase the effects of melatonin (Alesse, Diane-35, Marvelon, Min-Ovral, Ortho 0.5/35, Triphasil, etc.);
  • May decrease the effect of various categories of immunosuppressants (Imuran, Neoral, Sandimmune, Prograf, etc.) and corticosteroids (Prednisone);
  • May modify the metabolism of drugs in various many different categories (Cipro, Luvox, Fluconazole, etc.)

Scientific name



Sleep hormone, darkness hormone, pineal hormone