Clinical Drug Investigation

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 169–175 | Cite as

The Safety of Melatonin in Humans

  • Lars Peter Holst Andersen
  • Ismail Gögenur
  • Jacob Rosenberg
  • Russel J. Reiter
Review Article

Abstract

Exogenous melatonin has been investigated as treatment for a number of medical and surgical diseases, demonstrating encouraging results. The aim of this review was to present and evaluate the literature concerning the possible adverse effects and safety of exogenous melatonin in humans. Furthermore, we provide recommendations concerning the possible risks of melatonin use in specific patient groups. In general, animal and human studies documented that short-term use of melatonin is safe, even in extreme doses. Only mild adverse effects, such as dizziness, headache, nausea and sleepiness have been reported. No studies have indicated that exogenous melatonin should induce any serious adverse effects. Similarly, randomized clinical studies indicate that long-term melatonin treatment causes only mild adverse effects comparable to placebo. Long-term safety of melatonin in children and adolescents, however, requires further investigation. Due to a lack of human studies, pregnant and breast-feeding women should not take exogenous melatonin at this moment.

Keywords

Melatonin Simple Reaction Time Melatonin Treatment Exogenous Melatonin Mild Adverse Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

No source of funding.

Conflict of interest

LPHA, IG, JR and RJR do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Peter Holst Andersen
    • 1
  • Ismail Gögenur
    • 2
  • Jacob Rosenberg
    • 1
  • Russel J. Reiter
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryHerlev Hospital, University of CopenhagenHerlevDenmark
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryRoskilde and Køge Hospital, University of CopenhagenRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Cellular and Structural BiologyUT Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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