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Can You Overdose On Melatonin? Why You Should Think Twice

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Discover the negative effects and risks of Melatonin addiction and what dosage is right for you to get better sleep.

Can You Overdose On Melatonin? How To Determine The Right Dose?

Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally makes. It is also sold as an OTC sleep supplement. It could cause negative side effects if you take too much. Additionally, it is difficult to say just how much sleep-related melatonin use is too much because there is no standardized dose. That’s why it may be wise to start with the lowest dose possible and work up from there in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Melatonin Poisoning & Why You Should Think Twice Before Popping Melatonin Pills

Recent reviews revealed that melatonin poisoning is increasingly more common among kids and teenagers. This is likely due to the growing popularity of chewable supplements some of which may contain widely varying doses of melatonin. Moreover, some supplements with melatonin come with added hormones like serotonin, which can lead to an imbalance among juveniles.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the body that plays a role in “circadian rhythms.” [1] It is used in dietary supplements. It is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally makes to help keep your sleep cycle consistent. This cycle is also known as your circadian rhythm. This is also sometimes called the “biological clock.” Melatonin may be an effective and safe treatment of chronic insomnia, sleep anxiety, and insomnia caused by jet lag or shift work. Individuals sometimes use alcohol to self-medicate from insomnia and combine melatonin and alcohol.

Can melatonin cause death? Can you overdose on melatonin for adults? Generally, too much melatonin can lead to unwanted side effects. An overdose of the supplement could rarely kill you. However, melatonin overdose death may occur when mixed with other substances. “Melatonin and alcohol death” occurs because both drugs are sedatives, so there is an increased risk of accidents or over-sedation.

Melatonin plays a major role in maintaining your sleep cycle. Your body produces most of it in the hours after the sun goes down. Most of it is made, especially between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production. Research suggests that these hormones play other important roles in the body beyond sleep. However, these effects are not fully understood. Melatonin dietary supplements can be made from animals or microorganisms but are often synthetic.

People with sleep disorders sometimes use alcohol to self-medicate. Studies have found that approximately 30% of people with ongoing insomnia have used alcohol within the past year as a sleep aid. alcohol and insomnia are strongly connected; estimates of insomnia in people with alcohol dependency range from 36% to 67%. Furthermore, it is common for individuals suffering from sleep disorders to combine melatonin and alcohol. [2]

Is Melatonin Addictive?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body that helps promote sleep. Your pineal gland releases melatonin into your brain at certain times of the day. It releases more at night and slows production when it’s light outside. As you age, your body makes less melatonin. Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement in the United States, typically available near vitamins and supplements.

Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement in the United States, typically available near vitamins and supplements. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t make it automatically “safe.” Synthetic melatonin is human-made, with a chemical makeup designed to mimic natural melatonin. It would be hard to call melatonin unsafe in any meaningful way. However, it is worth noting that because of its classification as a supplement rather than a drug, it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That said,

Since melatonin supplements imitate a natural hormone, the human body can’t build up a tolerance to it or experience melatonin withdrawal symptoms the way it would with a medical sleep aid. However, you might experience some mild melatonin side effects while taking melatonin supplements.

Melatonin Fact Sheet


Is Melatonin A Hormone?

Yes, it is mainly recognized in animals as a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland in the brain, and it has long been linked to the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.


Proper Use Of Melatonin

Be cautious and safe when taking melatonin sleep aids.

Take 1 to 3 mg two hours before going to bed.


Melatonin Medication

People over the age of 55 who have sleep issues can be treated with melatonin. It can occasionally be prescribed to treat children’s sleep issues and treat adult headaches. Only those with a prescription can purchase melatonin. Both tablets with a slow release and a liquid to drink are available.

Melatonin Biological Half-Life

Approximately, 20 to 50 minutes.


Melatonin Ingredients

The active ingredient melatonin, 3 mg, is contained in each film-coated tablet.

Maltodextrin, silica colloidal anhydrous, cellulose microcrystalline, and magnesium stearate make up the remaining ingredients. Titanium dioxide, lactose monohydrate, hypromellose, and macrogol 4000 make up the coating.


Melatonin & Ibuprofen

NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may cause melatonin levels in the blood to drop. Immunosuppressant drugs and steroids. These medications may become less effective when taken with melatonin. Melatonin and other immune-suppressing medications SHOULD NOT be taken together.

Melatonin Addiction Statistics

Numerous sleep aids may cause addiction or have other harmful side effects. These medications must be taken as directed.

However, many people abuse these medications by taking more than is recommended or using a prescription that belongs to someone else.


4%

In the previous month, 4% of American adults 20 and older used prescription sleeping pills.

Source: CDC

500,000

Currently, Ambien and other sedatives are abused by more than 500,000 people in the United States.

Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health

77%

77% of patients do not adhere to the FDA’s safety guidelines for Ambien.

Source: Institute for Safe Medication Practices


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Melatonin Dosage

Are you searching for “Can you overdose melatonin?” and what happens when you overdose on melatonin? When taking melatonin more than what’s prescribed, excessive consumption can cause lethargy, disorientation, and low blood pressure. What happens when you take too much melatonin and what are the standard doses? To help you answer, “what happens if I take too much melatonin?” Refer to the information below but always consult your doctor, as each person’s response to drugs varies due to different factors.

10mg Dosage. Is 10 mg of melatonin too much?

  • Are you wondering “is 10 mg of melatonin too much?” 10mg of melatonin is the highest dose typically used for treating sleep-related conditions and hasn’t been associated with toxicity. 10mg was the dose used in one study to handle circadian rhythm disorders in people who are blind. The study concluded that a physician should always supervise this high dose.

20mg Dosage

  • The 30 mg dosage is substantial. Is 40mg of melatonin too much? It depends on your condition. Some studies have used 20-40 mg doses to prevent and treat clot-forming cells (thrombocytopenia) associated with cancer chemotherapy. So if you’re asking, “is 36 mg of melatonin too much?” consult with a doctor regarding your case.

100mg Dosage

  • This is a serious dosage that shouldn’t be used at all. With this in mind, it’s important to note that this would result in many unwanted effects, which could be potentially very harmful. 

What Happens If You Take Too Much Melatonin?

Can it lead to melatonin addiction? Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use. Unlike many sleep medications, you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin.  However, you may get your old symptoms back. If you are on a high dose, your doctor may advise you to reduce it slowly before stopping it completely.

How Much Melatonin Is Safe To Take?

Can You Overdose on Melatonin? Long-term overdose from this dietary supplement can cause hormonal imbalances in the body, especially as it relates to women’s levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Can you overdose on melatonin? Long-term overdose from this dietary supplement can cause hormonal imbalances in the body, especially as it relates to women’s levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Melatonin is available to purchase in any quantity without a prescription in the U.S. However, there is currently no formal consensus on the optimal dosing regimen for this supplement. Studies frequently use doses ranging from 0.1 to 10 milligrams, but 2 to 3 milligrams is often considered an appropriate starting amount.

“What if I take too much melatonin?” Are you searching for how much melatonin would cause overdose? There are many challenges to determining the appropriate amount of melatonin for anyone to take. Individual responses to this supplement can vary considerably due to factors that are not fully understood but can include age, gender, specific sleep issues, other health conditions, and timing of administration.

In addition, not all melatonin supplements are created equal. Differences in preparation can significantly alter its impact. What happens if you take 10 melatonin? Is 10mg melatonin too much? Depending on the formulation, taking 1 to 10 milligrams of melatonin can raise the body’s melatonin blood levels anywhere from 3 to 60 times the average amount.

 A random sampling of 31 brands of these dietary supplements determined that most did not contain the labeled dose, with the actual amount ranging from less than 80% to nearly 500%. Additionally, over one-quarter of the supplements had serotonin. Consumers should look for United States Pharmacopeial Convention Verified products for the most reliable formulation.

Despite the lack of data and variability around dosing regimens, with typical use, this dietary supplement is largely considered safe and is generally well-tolerated in healthy adults. What happens if you take too many melatonin? The risk of side effects is low but can include mild headache, dizziness, nausea, and sleepiness.

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Artificial Melatonin

Melatonin supplements may help with certain conditions, such as jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, and anxiety before and after surgery. However what happens if you take too much melatonin? Can you be addicted to melatonin? Can melatonin cause dependency? According to sleep experts and psychologists, melatonin is not addictive. However, alcohol plus melatonin, or mixing drugs such as cocaine and melatonin, can cause adverse effects, over-sedation, and drug overdose.

Jet lag

  • Jet lag affects people when they travel by air across multiple time zones. With jet lag, you may not feel well overall and have disturbed sleep, daytime tiredness, impaired functioning, and digestive problems. Research suggests that these dietary supplements may help with jet lag. 

Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD)

  • People with DSWPD have trouble falling asleep at the usual times and waking up in the morning. They typically have difficulty getting to sleep before 2 to 6 a.m. and would prefer to wake up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Melatonin supplements appear to help with sleep in people with DSWPD, but it’s uncertain whether the benefits outweigh the possible harms. 

Anxiety before and after surgery

  • Anxiety before and after surgery happens in up to 80 percent of patients. Melatonin supplements help reduce stress before surgery, but it’s unclear if it helps to lower anxiety after surgery. 

Melatonin Effects

How many melatonin does it take to overdose? What can happen if you take too much melatonin? Studies show serious adverse effects, and the toxicity of melatonin is relatively rare. However, more long-term human research must be conducted to prove this. This means that it’s fairly safe to use melatonin daily. However, it’s advisable only to do this for a short period. It is also possible to overdose on melatonin and alcohol.

While no current research points at the toxicity of using melatonin long-term, you can have side effects when you take it at too high a dose. Most doctors recommend a dosage of 1 to 3 milligrams (mg). In some people, an overdose of melatonin may cause excessive sleepiness; in others, it might produce the opposite of the desired effect and trigger over-alertness.

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Melatonin Side Effects

Daytime Sleepiness

  • Drowsiness is undoubtedly amongst the most visible and common side effects when overdoing it with your supplementation. If you take this supplement at the wrong time of the day, you are likely to start feeling drowsy. 

Hormonal Changes

  • When you’re taking a hormone – hormonal changes are bound to happen. However, this could be far more serious than you think. For instance, pregnant women are not advised to take this dietary supplement as not enough research has been done to know if it is safe during pregnancy.

Headaches

  • What happens when you take a lot of melatonin? Another widespread consequence of taking a little bit too much of this supplement is a severe headache in the morning. On the one hand, some research has found that these dietary supplements may help to prevent headaches and migraines. However, remember that this hormone is produced in your brain; taking more than what’s needed could lead to chemical imbalances and quickly spiral into the very thing you’re looking to prevent — headaches.

Dizziness

  • Dizziness could be another unpleasant side effect of taking too much melatonin. An allergic reaction to the supplement could also trigger it. Either way, dizziness is quite unpleasant and can severely disrupt your functioning.

Paranoia

  • If you take a higher dose than necessary, you could experience delusions, paranoia, confusion, or hallucinations. Because this hormone is closely tied to other neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior, higher doses could lead to chemical imbalances and these unpleasant symptoms.

Stomach Issues

  • This is undoubtedly one of melatonin’s most common side effects, regardless of whether you take it in a normal amount or overdose it. You may easily experience stomach issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. These are quite unpleasant, and this is something that you don’t want to deal with.

Anxiety & Depression

  • Anxiety and depression are commonly associated with hormonal imbalances and could be induced by higher doses of this dietary supplement. If you start experiencing mental health changes after taking this pill, speak to your doctor immediately.
Although melatonin supplements are considered “natural,” this does not necessarily mean they are harmless.
Although melatonin supplements are considered “natural,” this does not necessarily mean they are harmless.

Can Mixing Melatonin And Alcohol Cause Death?

Melatonin and alcohol death is quite rare, and even if it should happen, it would most likely be from underlying conditions or the sheer amount of alcohol consumed. The pineal hormone reproduced in over-the-counter melatonin is relatively safe and is not deadly, even in extremely high doses. However, there will be adverse health effects.

Can You Overdose On Melatonin?

When it comes to whether or not you can overdose on melatonin, the answer is yes and no. There has never been a case reported of anyone dying from too much melatonin or even becoming seriously ill, so you cannot overdose in the fatal sense.

On the other hand, you can certainly take too much melatonin, which can produce adverse side effects you likely want to avoid. If you are worried about whether or not you have taken too much, take a look at the warning signs and symptoms of taking larger doses of melatonin than recommended and adjust your intake accordingly.

Taking too much of this dietary supplement can have many harmful effects. Overdoses can lower men’s sperm count and libido and affect women’s estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Some also suggest that melatonin can affect ovulation and menstrual cycles for women as well.

Common Questions About Melatonin Overdose

  1. How much melatonin is fatal?

    There is no known lethal dosage of melatonin, but taking more than 10 mg can cause side effects like daytime drowsiness and headaches.

  2. Can your overdose on Melatonin gummies?

    If you are wondering, “can you overdose on melatonin gummy?”, the answer is that despite the fact that the body naturally produces melatonin, taking excessive amounts of additional melatonin can cause circadian rhythm problems (also called your sleep-wake cycle). It might also result in additional negative side effects. Therefore, melatonin overdose is possible.

  3. How can you overdose on melatonin?

    If melatonin is consumed in excess, sleepiness, headaches, nausea, and possibly even agitation may result. There is no known treatment for melatonin overdose, and even relatively high doses should not be expected to cause significant toxicity.

  4. Is 10 mg of melatonin too much?

    Are you wondering “Is 10 mg of melatonin too much?” The answer is that 10 milligrams doses of melatonin or higher can cause side effects like sleepiness and headaches. While there is no official melatonin dosage recommendation for sleep, 10 mg of melatonin may not be too much for most people. of course, you should consult with your doctor about your particular situation.

Melatonin Overdose Death

Can someone overdose on melatonin? Is “overdose on melatonin death” possible? The side effects of melatonin overdose are likely due to misusing and mixing them with alcohol or other drugs. Since combining alcohol and melatonin can cause negative side effects on your health, it’s not recommended. Some of these side effects can be disruptive or potentially dangerous, such as:

  • Drowsiness, which can make it much harder for you to drive or focus on certain tasks
  • Dizziness, which can make driving or even walking around dangerous
  • Increased anxiety, which can make you feel irritable or raise your blood pressure

Can Overdosing on Melatonin Kill You?

Can you die from melatonin poisoning? This supplement isn’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so there are no official dosing guidelines to follow. For further questions such as “Can I drink alcohol with melatonin?” or “Can you take melatonin while drunk?” Always talk with your doctor, a physician specializing in sleep health, or your pharmacist. Remember that an overdose of melatonin and alcohol is possible, and you’ll be more inclined to accidents for taking too much of them.

How Much Melatonin Does it Take to Overdose?

Is 24 mg of melatonin too much? Generally, an adult dose is between 1 and 10 mg. Doses near the 30 mg mark are usually considered to be unhealthy. However, people’s sensitivity to it can vary, making some more predisposed to side effects at lower doses than others. A 10 mg melatonin and alcohol can be harmless to others, but it can lead to adverse side effects for some. Alcohol’s effects vary from person to person, no matter the amount consumed. This is based on a number of unique factors, such as age, genetics, and other health conditions you have. When taking melatonin, it’s best to avoid alcohol while taking this supplement completely.

Symptoms of a Melatonin Overdose 

What are the symptoms of melatonin overdose? While overuse of this drug might not cause death, it can cause a few of the below melatonin overdose symptoms: 

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Drowsiness
  • Low body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Worsening of alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder causing hair loss)

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What Happens When You Overdose on Melatonin?

Can you overdose with melatonin? Also, what would overdosing on melatonin do? One of the symptoms of melatonin overdose side effects is it can have the opposite effect of its intended purpose. It can make it harder to sleep because your normal circadian rhythms will be disrupted. To answer, “can I overdose on melatonin?” Before starting melatonin or any over-the-counter medication or supplement, talk with your doctor. This is especially true if you take other medications.

How much melatonin is deadly? It depends if you’re taking it with different drugs. You should call 911 and seek emergency help if you have symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Blood pressure that’s 180/120 mm Hg or higher

These signs may not be related to melatonin or the interaction between melatonin and other medications. However, they shouldn’t be ignored, as they can indicate a medical emergency.

How long does a melatonin overdose last?

Do not wait any longer. If you think you’ve overdosed from melatonin or are allergic to the supplement, call your doctor, 911, or poison control immediately. The duration of adverse effects may vary for each person.

Melatonin Addiction

Melatonin abuse is not impossible. Melatonin could be seen as potentially addictive for vulnerable people, as they need it as a cue to control their circadian rhythms. If you plan to quit, you should not get any harmful discontinuation or withdrawal effects if you stop taking melatonin. However, you may get your old symptoms back. If you are on a high dose, the doctor may suggest reducing it slowly before stopping it completely.

Treating An Overdose And Addiction To Melatonin And Alcohol

In the case of a severe overdose or side effect — like abnormally low blood pressure — see a doctor immediately for melatonin overdose treatment. You should also get medical help if you feel that the supplement interacts with your prescription medication. For example, you might take your diabetes medication to control your blood sugar, yet your blood sugar remains elevated. Medical treatment will focus on stabilizing your health. So if too much melatonin causes low blood pressure, your doctor will work to get your blood pressure back to a healthy level. 

Alcohol acts as a depressant on the nervous system. When an individual consumes alcohol, the substance sedates their body. In many scenarios, alcohol seems to have a similar effect on the body as melatonin. Both senses make the user drowsy and slow down other body processes. Taken together, however, is a dangerous combination and is never a good idea.

If you or someone you know has been affected by alcohol and melatonin addiction, there are resources to help you recover.
If you or someone you know has been affected by alcohol and melatonin addiction, there are resources to help you recover.

While some may take alcohol to help them sleep, it also causes stress hormones to be released, resulting in restlessness while sleeping. Alcohol can also prevent the production of melatonin in the body. Combined with the depressant effect already in melatonin, this can yield a potentially dangerous mixture. If you regularly take this dietary supplement or need it to get to sleep, health professionals recommend you wait two or three hours after you’ve stopped drinking to take melatonin. The combination can be deadly, so it is always better to err on the side of caution.

Most common mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, are related to sleep disorders, including insomnia. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, which affects sleep in various ways. Higher doses of alcohol have been shown to disrupt sleep, particularly during the night’s second half. Alcohol should not be used as a sleep aid, and regular use of alcohol as a sleep aid may result in alcohol dependence and addiction.

Now that we’ve answered the question “can you overdose on melatonin?”, it’s also important to ask yourself if you are combining it with other substances like alcohol. If you are having trouble with alcohol and insomnia, and self-medicating with melatonin and alcohol, talk to us, and we will help you find an effective treatment for both. We Level Up New Jersey addiction treatment center can provide proper evidence-based therapy. Above all, recovering from co-occurring disorders like alcohol and insomnia problems does not need to be overwhelming or burdensome.

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FAQs On Melatonin Overdose Death

  1. Can you take Xanax with melatonin?

    Taking Xanax and melatonin together can temporarily increase your risk of side effects like sedation. You should always consult your physician or pharmacist first.

  2. What happens if you overdose on melatonin?

    If someone takes too much melatonin, he or she might experience sleepiness, headache, nausea, and perhaps even agitation.

  3. What to do if you take melatonin and alcohol?

    Depending on how much you’ve had to drink, wait 2-3 hours before taking melatonin as a sleep aid.

  4. Is 30mg melatonin safe?

    No. Doses near the 30 mg mark are usually considered to be harmful. Consult your doctor if you have medical issues that require a higher melatonin dosage.

  5. Is 40mg of melatonin bad?

    If you are wondering, “can you overdose on melatonin pills?’, the answer is the body will only usually utilize about 10mg, the remainder won’t have any additional effects on sleep and may have a reverse effect and keep you awake. You may want to practice good sleep habits and limit electronic time before sleep as well as use a blue filter as you can in the evening hours.

  6. Is it possible to overdose on melatonin?

    Melatonin can affect your cardiovascular, dermatologic (related to skin), and central nervous systems. If you have a condition related to one or more of these, you might be at risk of other side effects if you take melatonin. You may experience overdose symptoms as you’re more vulnerable to the drug.

  7. Can you die from melatonin?

    If you are wondering, “can you die from overdose on melatonin?'” or “can you overdose on melatonin and die?”, the answer is that technically every substance has a toxic dose, including water. Melatonin is one of the safest supplements over the counter in terms of the therapeutic index (a measurement of effective treatment dose compared to possible toxic dose), though, so it is practically impossible.

  8. What are the symptoms of withdrawal from melatonin?

    Generally, because these supplements mimic a natural hormone, the human body can’t build up a tolerance to it or experience melatonin withdrawal symptoms.

  9. Is 10mg too much melatonin?

    The maximum recommended limit for melatonin is 10 mg for adults. Taking too much melatonin can cause headaches and dizziness and make it harder to fall asleep. 

  10. Is 30 mg of melatonin too much?

    Keep in mind, anything above 30 milligrams is considered potentially harmful and dangerous. The normal dosage is 10mg or less. 

Search for “Can You Overdose on Melatonin?” & Other Resources
Sources:

[1] Melatonin: What You Need To Know – https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know – National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
[2] Melatonin – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/940.htmlU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[3] Melatonin – https://www.fda.gov/media/150006/download
[4] Sleep Aids and Stimulants – https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/work-hour-training-for-nurses/longhours/mod6/10.html – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[5] Melatonin Supplements for Improving Sleep in Individuals With Hypertension – https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00238108
[6] Can You Overdose On Melatonin? Effective Treatment Options (welevelup.com)

CDC: “Pediatric Melatonin Ingestions – United States, 2012-2021.”

National Capital Poison Control: “Melatonin Potential Uses and Benefits.”

St. Luke’s Health: “5 Harmful Medication Interactions You Need to Know.”

Sleep Foundation: “Melatonin Overdose.”

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