Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is Melatonin Safe?

Friday, 16 July 2010 10:21 AM

Question: I have glaucoma and use melatonin (3mg) every night. Does melatonin raise eye pressure? Is it safe to use?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Melatonin supplementation should not adversely affect those with glaucoma.

There is a new FDA approved non-addictive sleep agent called Rozerem 8mg that is a "melatonin agonist". Rozerem binds to the melatonin receptor mimicking the effects of our intrinsic hormone melatonin. Rozerem is well absorbed orally, is to be avoided in severe lung and liver disease, and may affect reproductive hormone levels by decreasing testosterone and/or increasing prolactin. Rozerem has no evident associations with glaucoma, but does have documented reports of fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, and headache.

Some investigators have reported that 0.5 mg daily melatonin supplement may prove to be useful in improving glaucoma presumably via its anti-oxidant properties, however this data is preliminary. Investigators measuring melatonin levels with patients on melatonin supplementation have failed to reveal an association with glaucoma with any elevation of melatonin levels.

Melatonin has been reported to improve jet lag when traveling east after flights of over 5 time zones using doses from 0.5 to 5 mg daily taken on the evening of arrival for 3-6 days. Drowsiness is a common side effect, and while it may help some fall asleep, it may also cause drowsiness and delay adaptation to local time. Daily melatonin supplementation is generally not recommended at present. Remember that supplemental melatonin has no FDA approval or indication for the treatment of any health condition or disorder.

© HealthDay

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