Melatonin Overdose


Melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs inside the body and helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle of a person. Melatonin is available in supplement form and is used to treat sleep related disorders like insomnia and jet lag. Melatonin dosage that is considered to be safe and effective is around 1mg to 5mg. The effects of overdosing on melatonin will vary depending on the dosage and also with other factors like the genetic makeup of a person and age. It is best to seek immediate medical attention if you happen to overdose on melatonin supplements.

Symptoms of an Overdose on Melatonin

Even if melatonin is a naturally occuring substance inside the body, it is still possible to overdose on it. If you take too much melatonin supplements, you may experience the usual Melatonin Side Effects and/or it can cause some serious problems like the ones listed below:

  • Lethargy
  • Problems in the liver
  • Problems in the eye
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Psychotic thinking and/or Psychotic behaviors
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Speech problems
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Shakiness or Tremors

Treatment Options for Melatonin Ovedose

There are no standard procedure on how to treat an overdose of melatonin. Therefore, the treatment for a melatonin overdose will involve supportive care which is primarily focused on treating the symptoms that occur from overdose. For example, if an overdose in melatonin cause seizures, the supportive treatment will involve medications that control seizures. It is very important that you seek medical attention if you think that you may have an overdose of melatonin.

Melatonin References:

Claustrat, B., Brun, J., David, M., Sassolas, G., & Chazot, G. (1992).

Melatonin and Jet Lag: Confirmatory Result Using a Simplified Protocol. Biological Psychiatry, 32, 705-711.

Garfinkel, D., Laudon, M., Nof, D., & Zisapel, N. (1995). Improvement of sleep quality in elderly people by controlled-release melatonin. The Lancet, 346, 541-543.

Jan, J. (1994). The Treatment of Sleep Disorders With Melatonin. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 36, 97-107.

Lino, A., Silvy, S., Condorelli, L., & Rusconi, A. (1993). Melatonin and Jet Lag: Treatment Schedule. Biological Psychiatry, 34, 587.

Zhdanova, I. (1995). Sleep – inducing effects of low doses of melatonin ingested in the evening. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 57, 552-558.

23 Responses to Melatonin Overdose

  1. Ted Magnuson says:

    As far as over the counter drugs for sleeplessnesss, besides Melatonin, another drug to try is Diphenhydramine. It is also much more readily available. Exercise and diet are also worth checking out.

    • admin says:

      OTC antihistamines can be used as “off label sleeping pills” since they cause drowsiness. Diphenhydramine is a good example but if you find it making you too drowsy, you can use Chlorphenamine instead.

  2. adrienne says:

    I have not been medically diagnosed but I have never slept through the night- even as a child. I wake up every 2 hours. My mother is bi-polar, and my sister is ADHD. I believe I have anxiety and have had panic attacks and depression. I have been taking 3 mg but recently it has become ineffective. I’ve moved into a noisy apt complex and really need my sleep for work, so I have bought the 5 mg supplements and hope they work for me!

    • Scott says:

      I have found ear plugs help with the noise as I am a light sleeper too. You also may want to consult with a doctor and try an anti anxiety medication.

  3. Katie says:

    How come none of the references are from medical doctors?

  4. Lisa says:

    I am giving my son who has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, schitzophrenic emergin, Aspergers, and Tourette’s 10mg. He has been like his old self. He was sleep deprived, irritated, and had many hallucinations. Now not so much. I don’t know if getting more sleep is helping or relieving the anxiety, but something is better.

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