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Melatonin - is it safe ??

(8 Posts)
happyhuggies Tue 05-Jul-11 22:09:36

My daughter (age 9) has been given melatonin, due to lack of sleep since being a baby the specialist said she isnt keen on giving to girls as is a hormone and not sure of long term effect on fertility, has anyone else heard this as it is working wonders but worried might be causing long term harm and would never forgive myself, thanks

electra Tue 05-Jul-11 22:54:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Aero Tue 05-Jul-11 23:38:15

I don't want to alarm you but dds paediatrician advised me that long term use (over three months) of melatonin could possibly cause seizures, particularly in teenagers and very young children. We discontinued dd's (11) medication as it was causing insomnia which she then had to take melatonin to counteract. There was no concern over short term use and the paed suggested giving it a break and then using again at a later date for a few months at a time, but we felt it best to stop all the meds and give dd her precious sleep back!

That said, I'd always thought it was fairly innocuous and I haven't ever seen that information elsewhere, but it's worth checking out if you're worried.

Aero Tue 05-Jul-11 23:45:55

Actually, have just had a quick check myself and lots of articles suggest melatonin can reduce seisures - now I'm confused!!

Definitely don't act on my post, but do check with your dd's paediatrician about your concerns........I'm off to read up a bit more - I just took dd's paeds word as gospel...........

Aero Tue 05-Jul-11 23:51:52

Ah - just found this. Scroll down a bit.

Pediatric

•Always ask your doctor before giving melatonin to a child. Keep doses to less than 0.3 mg/day. There is not enough information to say that doses greater than 0.3 mg per day are safe in children under age 15. In fact, doses between 1 - 5 mg may cause seizures in this age group.

Lougle Wed 06-Jul-11 00:50:35

0.3 mg won't touch sleep disturbance, IMO. DD1 takes melatonin each night, 3mg orally (liquid), and she weighs 18kg.

I think it's worth bearing in mind, that around 1/3 of children with learning difficulties of any kind are thought to also have epilepsy. Epilepsy can first appear in late toddlerhood, which is when children are deemed to be 'abnormal' if they haven't started to sleep appropriately at night.

It is logical to me, that the very fact that a child has LD, or SEN of some sort, and develops epilepsy, at the same time melatonin is prescribed can be pure coincidence.

DD1 was diagnosed with epilepsy at 3.1. She started melatonin at 4. Had she developed her epilepsy a year later, would they have attributed it to the melatonin? Possibly.

It's the same as painkillers that cause headaches, cure headaches. Or antisickness drugs which cause sickness...well the people taking them were sick!

Melatonin (synthetic) is safe, and merely a reproduction of our natural productions. Don't buy from America mail order, though, because they often use animal melatonin, which isn't known to be safe.

davidsotherhalf Wed 06-Jul-11 09:36:31

my dd has been on melatonin kidnaps brand (only one that works for her) for over 5yrs and we haven't had any side effects, without this she gets about 10 mins sleep a night, if she's lucky.

happyhuggies Mon 11-Jul-11 22:41:46

thanks to everyone who replied, also done further research and found conflicting reports, only found one to say can have an effect on productive system but looked again and site has disappeared!!, been prescribed melatonin until december when the sleep clinic is going to take her off it and monitor her with sensors for two weeks to see if that throws up why she cant get to sleep, thanks again

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