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What are the risks of taking melatonin?

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Quick Answer

Some possible risks of taking melatonin are side effects like headaches, feeling drowsy during the day, confusion and being anxious or irritable, according to Mayo Clinic. Another risk of melatonin use is that this supplement can interact with medications, such as diabetic drugs, blood thinners and immunosuppressant medicines.

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Full Answer

Although taking melatonin occasionally on a short-term basis may not cause side effects or be a risk for many people, it can cause problems for others. For example, people that have certain medical conditions like depression, hypertension and seizure should avoid taking this supplement because it may cause problems, relates WebMD. Similarly, pregnant women should not take it due to safety concerns. Another group of people who should not use melatonin are transplant recipients because it can interact with medications used by these patients. Before taking melatonin, people should discuss it with their doctors if they have any of these medical conditions, suggests Mayo Clinic.

The pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin in the body. The function of this hormone is to regulate the sleep-wake cycle of the body. The supplement may be useful for jet lag and some sleep disorders, relates Mayo Clinic. This supplement is intended for short-term use.

However, some clinical studies suggest that melatonin may be useful for conditions like breast and prostate cancer and fibromyalgia, states the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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