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What is the FDA-approved use of melatonin?

The FDA does not regulate supplements. Consequently, melatonin is not officially FDA-approved for any indication


Mechanism of Action

Melatonin's exact mechanism of action in the stimulation of growth in human hair is not yet clearly understood.


Who should not use melatonin?

The following conditions can preclude the usage of melatonin: 

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to melatonin or any other medicine
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus, or any other autoimmune condition


What should I tell a provider before starting melatonin?

Ensure you disclose your entire medical history to your healthcare provider.  Be aware that withholding or providing inaccurate health and medical history to obtain treatment can have serious consequences, potentially including death.

  • Pregnancy and special populations:
    • Melatonin is not usually recommended during pregnancy because there is no research on its effect on babies.
    • If your doctor or health visitor says your baby is healthy, you may be able to take melatonin while breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions: Lots of medicines may increase or decrease the drowsy-making (sedating) effects of melatonin.
    • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any of these medicines before taking melatonin:
    • antidepressants such as fluvoxamine or amitriptyline
    • benzodiazepines such as temazepam (for insomnia) or diazepam (for anxiety or muscle pain)
    • medicines that lower blood pressure
    • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac
    • oestrogens, used in contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
    • opiates such as codeine or morphine for pain control
    • psoralens, for skin disorders such psoriasis
    • quinolones or rifampicin, types of antibiotic
    • carbamazepine, for epilepsy
    • cimetidine, for stomach problems such as ulcers
    • thioridazine, for schizophrenia
    • warfarin, a medicine to prevent blood clots
    • zaleplon, zolpidem or zopiclone, for insomnia


How should I use melatonin

Topical melatonin should be applied to the affected areas of the scalp as directed by your provider. The topical formulation is meant for external use only and should not be ingested or applied to other body parts. Wash your hands thoroughly after application. 


What side effects should I be aware of with melatonin?

During a study on the use of a topical melatonin solution, mild side effects experienced by some participants included: temporary reddening, sensitivity, itching, or burning.

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risks and benefits of taking melatonin and to report any side effects or concerns promptly.

The above does not encompass all potential side effects, medication interactions, or studies related to melatonin. Unreported or yet undiscovered side effects might exist.


Research Links