Melatonin: Reactions with other drugs or substances

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:12 pm

Much remains unknown about melatonin’s interaction with many other drugs and substances. However, it is known that melatonin does interact with, and may limit the effectiveness of, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines, dehydroepiandrosterone, magnesium, zinc, corticosteroids, and succinylcholine. People who are being treated with these drugs should not take melatonin.
Interactions between drugs or substances and endogenous melatonin
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that stimulates the pineal gland’s ability to produce melatonin. Antipsychotic drugs also have this effect. Other medicines have the opposite effect. Certain types of medicines used to treat cardiovascular disease called beta blockers reduce the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatories, which are used to treat pain and/or fever, benzodiazepines, and caffeine also inhibit the production of melatonin.
Interactions between drugs or substances and exogenous melatonin
Individuals who take melatonin supplements and benzodiazepines may feel very anxious and unsettled. Instead of causing sleepiness, melatonin can aggravate insomnia when taken with metamphetamines.

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