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January 7th, 2011

I have recently been asked about Melatonin for jetlag

A product circadan = 2 mg slow release melatonin was approved last year in australia by The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in persons over 55 years of age


However the cochraine review


…did not encourage the use of 2mg slow release melatonin as per extract below

Eight of the ten trials found that melatonin, taken close to the target bedtime at the destination (10pm to midnight), decreased jet-lag from flights crossing five or more time zones. Daily doses of melatonin between 0.5 and 5mg are similarly effective, except that people fall asleep faster and sleep better after 5mg than 0.5mg. Doses above 5mg appear to be no more effective. The relative ineffectiveness of 2mg slow-release melatonin suggests that a short-lived higher peak concentration of melatonin works better. The estimated number needed to treat (NNT) is 2, based on the only two trials that gave the necessary data. The benefit is likely to be greater the more time zones are crossed, and less for westward flights.

So the melatonin available on a general script in Australia is not the one to recommended.

(Incidentally, your local compounding pharmacy will make 5mg melatonin non – slow-release tablets from a script that is for 5mg Melatonin)

Personally I always carry melatonin and especially use it for the first few nights when travelling to the USA / Canada. In the USA you can buy melatonin 5 mg without a script from local pharmacies.

One Response to “Melatonin?”

  1. It may well be Circadan in Australia — it’s been approved for people over 55 in EU with the name Circadin. It has absolutely no effect on my sleep at home (I haven’t tried it traveling). 0.25 mg melatonin does help me get to sleep quickly and 3 mg has exactly the same effect, so I wonder if 5 mg really would do anything more. But I suspect we all may react differently to melatonin. For experimenting with dosages, I’ve found the liquid products to be easy to use.

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