Melatonin is a medicine that is used to treat jetlag and to adjust an irregular sleep pattern. It contains the active ingredient melatonin, which is also found naturally in the body. It works by increasing the levels of melatonin in the body at night, which aids sleep. The body produces more melatonin at night, which produces a regular night cycle. Light prevents the production of melatonin, which means we are more alert during the day.
- Effective treatment for jet lag
- Increases melatonin in the body to aid sleep
NOTE: After selecting this product, you will need to complete a short assessment, so we can make sure this medication is suitable for you. Pricing is provided as a reference only. The final decision on issuing this medication remains with our GP / Pharmacist.
Melatonin 3mg tablets contain the active ingredient melatonin and are used for the treatment of jet lag.
Jet lag can last from a few days or up to a week or more. This can cause sleep disturbances, daytime tiredness, mild mental impairment, irritability, and reduced appetite. It is often unpleasant, and sometimes debilitating, affecting both business and holiday travel. Severity varies from person to person and on the number of time zones crossed, tending to be more severe in older people, and with flights from east to west.
You should get medical advice if you do not feel better or if you feel worse after 5 days.
How to take
Adults only - 1 tablet daily for a maximum of 5 days. If not working, 2 tablets daily. Take first tablet(s) on arrival at destination at your usual bed-time. On the following days take at your usual bed-time - should not be taken before 20:00 hr or after 04:00 hr. Take tablets whole with water or other liquid (not alcohol), not within 2 hours before or after food.
Courses of melatonin treatment can be repeated for each episode of jet lag up to a maximum of 16 treatment periods per year.
If you have taken more than recommended, please contact your doctor, hospital, or pharmacy. Common symptoms of overdose are drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
If you forget to take a tablet at bedtime and wake during the night you may take the forgotten dose but at no later than 04:00 hr. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you stop taking Melatonin tablets, it will not have any withdrawal symptoms or harmful effects.
Can I get Melatonin on the NHS?
Melatonin medication for the treatment of jet lag is considered to be a 'travel medication', and like other travel medicines, is not available through the NHS. It is a prescription medicine which Dr Fox supplies through a private online prescription, posted from our UK pharmacy.
How many tablets do I need?
Treatment is taken for up to 5 days after arriving when one or two tablets are taken each evening. One pack of 30 tablets is enough for up three or six treatments depending on the number of tablets taken each day. Frequent travellers can take up to 16 courses of treatment in a year.
Can anyone take Melatonin?
Most people can take Melatonin, although people with some pre-existing medical conditions or those taking certain medicines should not take it. Further information is listed in the patient information leaflet supplied with the tablets. Melatonin is not suitable for under 18s.
How to reduce jet lag without medication
Before you travel try going to bed at a time closer to the destination bedtime.
Try to make sure you have enough sleep in the days before you travel.
Keep as calm and relaxed as possible during travel.
Drink plenty to keep hydrated.
Avoid more than a little alcohol.
Move around during the flight when you can.
Adjust the time on your watch to the destination time at the start of the journey.
Sleep during the journey if travelling West.
On arrival try to sleep and eat at destination times.
Try to avoid naps in the day.
Spend time out of doors where natural light helps with adjustment.
Melatonin tablets with alcohol and food drink
Alcohol should NOT be taken whilst taking melatonin. Alcohol can impair sleep and potentially worsen certain symptoms of jet lag (e.g. concentration, headache, morning fatigue).
There is always a risk of side effects with all medications. Some of these can be quite mild and can subside over time. Others are more serious and should be reported to your GP right away if you experience any side effects. Please contact a member of our team if you are concerned about any potential side effects that may occur when taking Melatonin.
Serious side effects
If you experience any of the following serious side effects stop taking and contact your doctor immediately.
Chest pain (uncommon affecting 1 in 100) and rare side effects (affecting up to 1 in 1,000 people) includes reduced red blood cells (anaemia), reduced white blood cells (increased risk of infection), reduced platelets (increased bruising or bleeding), disorientation, fainting, visual symptoms, feeling your heart (palpitations, pounding heart), and blood in the urine.
Allergic reactions, with swelling of the tongue and lining of the mouth can occur - frequency unknown.
Non-serious side effects
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people), headache, drowsiness.
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people), irritability, nervousness, restlessness, abnormal dreams, anxiety, dizziness, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, indigestion, mouth ulceration, dry mouth, nauseam Itching, rash, dry skin, excretion of glucose in the urine, excess protein in the urine, feeling unwell, Weight increase.
Rare side effects
(may affect up to 1 in 1000 people), high levels of certain fat molecules (triglycerides) in the blood, altered mood, aggression, increased sex drive, memory impairment, restless legs syndrome, ‘pins and needles’ sensation, watery eyes, hot flushes, vomiting, wind, excess saliva, bad breath, inflammation of the stomach lining, nail disorder, arthritis, muscle spasms, passing large volumes of urine, prolonged erection that might be painful, inflammation of the prostate gland, thirst, abnormal levels of electrolytes in the blood.
Frequency unknown; hypersensitivity reactions, high blood glucose level, flow of milk from the breasts (also in men).
Talk to your doctor before taking Melatonin medication, if the following apply:
Epilepsy - frequency of fits may increase.
Autoimmune disease (where the body is 'attacked' by its own immune system).
Diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, as this medicine may increase the level of glucose in your blood.
Impaired kidney function or liver function.
Smoking - may reduce the effect of Melatonin medication as smoking can increase the breakdown of melatonin by the liver.
Children and adolescents - not suitable for under 18 years, safety and efficacy are unknown.
Before taking any medications, regardless of whether they are over the counter or prescription only, it is essential always to read the patient information leaflet.
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