Is it possible to take acetaminophen with melatonin?

Acetaminophen is a frequently prescribed pain reliever which is available in dosages by prescription and over the counter. Melatonin is a well-known nutritional supplement which is beneficial for sleep. Since 2011, there are no reports by scientists of any adverse reactions between melatonin and acetaminophen. However, there are some health risks present for consuming each of these products. Talk with your doctor if you can use acetaminophen while taking melatonin.

As an antipyretic and analgesic medication, acetaminophen cools the body and modifies the way a person senses pain. More often than not, physicians prescribe acetaminophen for the reduction of fever associated with colds and flu. Moreover, it is used for the relief of mild to moderate pain due to toothaches, backaches, headaches, menstrual periods, muscle aches and osteoarthritis. This kind of medication works by altering the way the body senses pain and also cools down the body temperature. Although this is very popular in use, acetaminophen can be an extremely dangerous drug. This heightens a person’s risk to severe damage of the liver which may not be obvious at first but eventually will develop into liver failure and result to death after a few days.

Melatonin is a kind of hormone which the pineal gland inside the brain forms from serotonin which is a neurotransmitter and secretes into the bloodstream during nighttime. The basic function of melatonin is to control the circadian rhythm affecting the wake-sleep cycle. If melatonin supplements are taken before bedtime, these can induce drowsiness and may improve the overall quality of a person’s sleep. It was discovered by the scientists of Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem that melatonin supplement can considerably lessen the amount of time a person can fall asleep, increase the quality of sleep and also increase the whole amount of time for sleeping. Such discovery was published in the February 2005 issue of Sleep Medicine Reviews.

As of 2011, there are no reports regarding the adverse reactions that take place between acetaminophen and melatonin when used all together. But there is a possibility that adverse reactions can occur and every medication is linked to side effects. In general, acetaminophen is safe to use as directed, yet, this can result to damage of the liver if taken greater than the prescribed dosage even if the amount is only small. Moreover, acetaminophen is a usual component of other medications for relief of colds and pain. Sedative, anxiolytic, nutraceutical and hypnotic are some of the drug classifications of melatonin. According to the report of the Food and Drug Administration, melatonin is associated with some health risks which include loss of proper vision, increased plaque in the arteries and development of spontaneous cancerous tumors in mice.

It does not mean that an adverse reaction will not take place just because there is no documentation of the interaction between melatonin and acetaminophen. Usually, scientists will not be able to identify the adverse reactions between medicines and other drugs as well as nutrients or other substances until the FDA will approve the medication. Nevertheless, it is probably best to use melatonin alone and avoid simultaneous use of acetaminophen and melatonin considering that acetaminophen is associated with severe risks to the liver.

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