Can you die from taking too much melatonin?
Melatonin is not commonly known to lead to death; however, you must be mindful that it can cause some complications if taken in high doses. When we fall asleep, our brains normally release melatonin, and this hormone is beneficial in handling a wide variety of health problems. Aside from its sleep-associated benefits, melatonin is also recognized as an effective treatment for cancer. This is used in combination with chemotherapy, for example. Many people use melatonin pills so that they can easily fall asleep and can experience relaxing sleep especially when they are stressed out. Moreover, they would even take more than the recommended or normal dose so that they can get fast results.
If you are among those people who take more than the recommended amount of melatonin, you are now possibly asking if this could cause potential harm or danger. That is what we will be discussing in this article. So, just keep on reading.
Can you overdose on melatonin?
Most people assume that this substance is a safe sleep supplement. In reality, this is certainly not only a safe solution for troubled sleep, but also this can treat a wide variety of health conditions. This is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body. It is also essential to remember that this is not as potent as those prescribed by medical practitioners. Although the artificial counterpart is almost the same as those produced by the body, it does not really mean that this has no risks involved. Similar to any other medications, you still have to take some precautionary measures even if you can purchase this over the counter.
Side effects of melatonin overdose? What happens when you take too much melatonin?
Depression and Anxiety
Both anxiety and depression are common side effects of melatonin. Always remember that these symptoms are related to severe hormonal changes and imbalance, which will definitely occur if you are taking melatonin supplements.
Daytime sleepiness is no doubt one of the most apparent and well-known side effects of melatonin overdosage. The concept is that if you consume melatonin at the inappropriate time of the day, there’s a tendency that you feel sleepy. This could raise the risks especially when you are driving or maneuvering certain heavy machines, for instance.
Another known side effect of taking too much melatonin supplement is severe headache in the morning. Always remember that this hormone is produced in the brain; thus, any abrupt changes beyond the normal bodily functions could easily lead to extreme headache.
Increased melatonin dosage in your body can cause dizziness. Dizziness is also triggered if allergic reactions occur, which increases the production of this hormone. This side effect is somewhat unpleasant, and it could certainly interfere with your normal body functioning.
Taking a seriously high dose of melatonin can immediately lead to paranoia, delusions, confusion, and hallucinations. In addition, the symptoms are worsened with the disorientation that you can possibly experience when taking melatonin, and these symptoms are undoubtedly undesirable.
Changes in Hormonal Activities
Hormonal changes are likely to happen since you are obviously taking a particular type of hormone. But this is a serious thing that you need to be mindful of. For example, melatonin is not recommended for pregnant women since this can affect the development of the fetus in a dangerous way.
In addition, this hormone can potentially decrease the libido of both men and women. It has the capacity to reduce the sperm count and interfere with the ovulation cycles. Therefore, if you are among those couples who are looking forward to have a baby soon, it is important to avoid taking this supplement.
Whether you take melatonin in a normal or beyond normal dose, you can always encounter some stomach issues. Some of these stomach issues include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You don’t want to experience all these problems, and all of us don’t desire to deal with these problems.
What Is the Recommended Dosage of Melatonin?
A 2005 research study by MIT researchers has proven that melatonin is very effective sleep aid for people with sleep disorders. Now, the recommended dose for melatonin is dependent upon the age of an individual. Normally, the advisable dose for adults ranges from 0.2mg to 20mg. The dose also depends on the purpose why you are taking the supplement. However, there are people who take more than the recommended dose and have not encountered or experienced any side effects since there are several factors that are involved when it comes to the supplement’s effectiveness. Thus, it is best to consult your doctor before taking this supplement.
Is it safe to take 10mg of melatonin?
This is a mild dose that is usually recommended for people who are blind. This allows them to overcome sleep dysfunctions. The 10mg-dose is taken before a person goes to sleep and this treatment usually lasts for around 9 weeks.
This is a formidable dose of melatonin and is only indicated for serious cases. For example, if a patient has a solid tumor, melatonin in combination with the conventional therapy is the treatment of choice. Up to 40mg of melatonin, along with radiotherapy, is allowed in this case. Undoubtedly, a close supervision of a medical practitioner is needed.
This is a considerable dose of melatonin. This dose is indicated to avoid and to treat decreased clot-forming cells. This is commonly used in conjunction with cancer chemotherapy. The treatment is continued until the end of the chemotherapy.
This is a dangerous dosage and this should be avoided. It is essential to note that this serious dose of melatonin can lead to adverse reactions that are potentially dangerous. It is best to keep this in consideration.
Lethal Dose of Melatonin
Just like any other medications, this has a lethal dose of 50 (LD50). This means that this is the lethal dose at which at least 50% of the rats or mice or other test animals die of exposure. Melatonin is recognized to be relatively safe and would not cause you harm if you take 100 times higher than the advisable dose since it didn’t seem to be enough to terminate the life of one test animal.
Can children take melatonin?
There are several pediatricians who recommend this hormone to their patients, and parents as well freely use this for their children. This is indicated to overcome sleep issues in children, and this is a well-known approach.
Is Melatonin Habit Forming?
Melatonin supplements are not regarded as habit forming and they are definitely not addictive. Therefore, you are free to take them when necessary. However, taking more than the recommended dose could possibly result to adverse effects that are highly undesirable as discussed earlier.
How long does it take melatonin to take effect?
The plasma half-life of the substance is a bit short, and it ranges from 20 to 50 minutes. This means that taking a higher dose before bedtime is certainly not advantageous. It would be better to take those long-acting medications. As a matter of fact, taking high-dose melatonin before going to bed increases the risk of waking up a bit moody. The best thing that you can do is to closely observe the effects of this supplement in your body as each person reacts differently.
What to Do if you already overdose on sleeping pills
The best reliable action is to consult your doctor. Although, always remember that melatonin overdose is unusual since this substance is relatively mild. Therefore, it is also good to just wait out for its effects.
Melatonin is a very useful supplement. Therefore, if you want to hasten the production of melatonin hormone in your body, you can definitely take it since this can really help you a lot.
In addition, melatonin in general is considered as a safe substance and the benefits outweigh the side effects. The side effects are not usually manifested as well in most users. Although they are naturally present in our bodies, many people experienced a lot of advantages when they take this supplement. This is absolutely safe as pediatricians as well as parents freely use it to handle sleep issues in children. Parents who have used this in children have not encountered any undesirable effects; however, tremendous precautions should still be observed when using this supplement.