Melatonin Drug Interactions

Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body and a supplement available over the counter. In this lesson, we will review potential drug interactions you should consider when taking melatonin.

Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is your body's process to maintaining a sleep/wake cycle. Your brain responds to light and dark to help manage your body's clock. Your brain responds to the light of the day which allows you to be most alert during the day. It also responds to the dark of the night and makes you want to sleep at night.

Many people have trouble sleeping despite this circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a natural supplement that can help you sleep! Let's look at how this works next.

How Melatonin Helps You Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in your body as part of our circadian rhythm. It is produced in the pineal gland of the brain. Your circadian rhythm and the amount of light you are exposed to helps tell your pineal gland how much melatonin to make. Your melatonin levels start to rise in the evening and stay elevated through the night as you sleep. As the sun starts to rise, your melatonin levels start to decrease. This is your sleep/wake cycle.

Over-the-counter melatonin

If you are having trouble sleeping, taking a melatonin supplement can assist your body in its already natural process of your sleep/wake cycle.

Even though our bodies naturally produce melatonin, there are still considerations to take when taking a melatonin supplement. It is essential to review all medications that you are taking with your physician and your pharmacist.

Drug Interactions with Melatonin

Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco decrease the levels of melatonin in the body which can contribute to your difficulty sleeping. If you are taking a melatonin supplement, there are additional drug interactions that you should be aware of.

Certain medications taken along with melatonin can decrease the effectiveness of those medications. Examples include certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, steroids, and immunosuppressants.

Other medications taken along with melatonin may decrease the melatonin levels in your body. These include fluoxetine, a class of blood pressure medications known as calcium channel blockers, and NSAIDs. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that include ibuprofen and aspirin.

Anticoagulant medications are medications that help to prevent clotting by slowing down the clotting process. Some people refer to these as blood thinners. If you take melatonin with anticoagulant medications, you are at higher risk of bleeding.

Please discuss all medications including over the counter, supplements, and herbals with your physician and pharmacist before starting melatonin.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account