Can You Overdose on Melatonin? How Much Should You Take?

by Véronique Raymond

What are the side effects of taking too much melatonin? Is it possible to take too much?

This question is likely to be asked by someone who has tried sleeping aids before.

There are many people who use melatonin in an attempt to help them fall asleep sooner or to alleviate the effects of jet lag. You may be tempted to use sleeping drugs if you’ve been counting sheep for a long time. Desperation sets in and you may opt to take a few more pills to put yourself out.

Does this sound all too familiar? It’s possible that you’re asking if there are any possibly harmful implications to this. Find out more about melatonin’s adverse effects and dosage here.

Melatonin Safety

Sleeping pills that are sold over the counter are generally considered safe by most individuals. This popular sleep medication could earn 1.5 billion dollars in revenue worldwide by 2021. Some of the other uses of sleep aids are cancer, tinnitus and Alzheimer’s disease treatment.

Unlike other OTC medicines, this one is a hormone that is created naturally by the body and is connected to the circadian rhythm, unlike most other OTC drugs. Despite being regarded a generally safe supplement, OTC usage has been outlawed in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and portions of the European Union for years. Only with a prescription is this hormone available in certain nations, but why?

There have been investigations of OTC goods which have revealed that the listed dosages of melatonin supplements can vary anywhere from -83 percent to +478 percent. Furthermore, several goods were found to contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter and a restricted drug used to treat a wide range of neurological problems.

Synthetic alternatives, even if they have many similarities with natural ones, are not without their drawbacks. Pregnant women, those with prediabetes/type 2 diabetes, and those who are allergic to or sensitive to this hormone may experience unpleasant side effects if they take it at higher dosages than recommended.

It appears that melatonin is safe, and the question of whether or not you can ingest too much of it is irrelevant.

The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of subjects) couldn’t be established in animals and a dose of up to 800mg/kg wasn’t found to be lethal in humans.

To sum it up — melatonin is not known to be a potential cause of death, but you do need to be aware of possible complications if you overdose.

Daytime Drowsiness

Drowsiness is one of the most noticeable and prevalent negative effects of overdosing on your supplements. Supplements that cause sleepiness might be dangerous if taken at the inappropriate time of day, according to this viewpoint. As a result, using heavy equipment or driving could now be more dangerous.

Hormonal Fluctuations

It’s a given that your hormones will fluctuate while you’re taking a supplement. It’s possible that this is more serious than you realize. While melatonin is safe for pregnant women, further study is needed before it can be recommended for use.

It is also something that has the ability to lower libido in both males and females. It can affect the sperm count in males and the ovulation cycles in women. If you’re attempting to conceive, it’s generally best to consult with your doctor first before using this supplement.

Consult your child’s physician if you have concerns about their sleep because some evidence shows it might delay puberty and create other changes in youngsters.


When you overdose on this product, you’re likely to wake up with a strong headache. Research suggests that melatonin supplementation may help avoid headaches and migraines. Make sure you know that taking more than what you need might cause chemical imbalances in your brain and lead to the exact thing you’re trying to avoid—headaches.


Another possible negative effect of taking too much melatonin is dizziness. An adverse reaction to the supplement might possibly be to blame. Regardless, dizziness is a nuisance that may have a significant impact on your ability to concentrate.


If you exceed the recommended dosage, you may develop hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, or disorientation. Higher amounts of this hormone may induce chemical imbalances and these unpleasant feelings since it is tightly linked to other neurotransmitters that affect mood and behavior.

Stomach Troubles

Even if you use melatonin on a daily basis or if you overdose on it, this is a frequent adverse effect. Discomforts in the gastrointestinal tract can occur easily. You don’t want to deal with these since they’re unpleasant.

Anxiety & Depression

Hormonal imbalances can cause anxiety and sadness, which might be exacerbated by using this supplement in large dosages. Immediately notify your doctor if you notice any abnormalities in your mental health as a result of consuming melatonin.

How Much Melatonin is Too Much?

How Much Should Be Taken?

The safest and most effective dosages have been found to be between 0.3 mg and 10 mg in the majority of trials. When it comes to the optimal dosage, there are a number of factors to consider, including your age, weight, and the condition you’re looking to address. There are a number of factors to consider when determining the optimal dosage. As a general rule, doctors recommend starting with the lowest possible dose and gradually increasing it until you achieve your desired impact.

Consult your physician if you’re unclear about how much to begin with.

10mg Dosage

No adverse effects have been reported from using this high a dosage to treat sleep disorders. 10mg was used in one trial to treat circadian rhythm abnormalities in persons who are blind. The researchers found that this high dosage should always be monitored by a doctor.

20mg Dosage

Because of the increased concentration, it should only be administered under the guidance of a physician. The use of 20mg of melatonin alongside cancer therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, for example, has been studied in some investigations. Taking this dosage without the guidance of a doctor is not recommended.

30mg Dosage

A dose of 30 mg of melatonin is a significant one. To prevent and cure clot-forming cells (thrombocytopenia) associated with cancer treatment, several trials have tested dosages of 20-40 mg.

100mg Dosage

This is an extremely high dose that should never be taken. With this in mind, it’s crucial to keep in mind that this might have a wide range of negative consequences. Keep this in mind when making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lethal Dose of Melatonin?

All medicines have their own LD 50. This is the fatal dosage when 50 percent of the experimental participants would die of consumption. Melatonin is recognized to be generally safe and an LD50 couldn’t be determined. Even incredibly high dosages weren’t fatal in animals.

How Long Does it Last?

Plasma half-life is 20-50 minutes. To put it another way: after this period, you’ll have around half the dosage remaining in your system. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to aid in your ability to stay asleep or improve the quality of your slumber.

Why is Melatonin Taken?

After falling asleep, our brains produce melatonin into our bodies, which can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. Additionally, melatonin is well-known for its role in a variety of cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, as an extra element that can be used.

Is Melatonin Addictive?

There are no reports of melatonin addiction or dependence. Short-term usage is typically safe. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms if you’ve been taking it every day for more than two weeks so that they can rule out other disorders that might be affecting your sleep.

Should It Be Taken by Kids?

Children with conditions like autism may benefit from melatonin, according to research. Limited research has been done to determine whether or not it is safe and effective for other youngsters. Make an appointment with your child’s physician before using melatonin.

What Should You Do In case of an Overdose?

When in doubt, contact a medical professional or a poison control center right away. People with specific medical problems or who are on certain drugs may experience unpleasant side effects or be at risk from melatonin, which is regarded safe and has a low toxicity profile.

What Happens If Melatonin is Combined with Other Drugs?

Mayo Clinic states that melatonin should be suitable for most individuals, but it may clash with other drugs, such as blood thinners, antihypertensives, oral contraceptives, and others, in certain cases. It doesn’t indicate, however, that the combination will be harmful; in some situations, it may just limit melatonin’s capacity to induce sleepiness.

Melatonin should only be used if it is safe for you to do so, so talk to your doctor before you start taking it.

Wrapping Up

The hormone melatonin is produced by the body. It’s critical for a wide range of functions, including sleep. It provides a wide range of advantages and a low risk of negative effects.

It is possible, however, to consume too much melatonin and end up with unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, and other discomforts. A good rule of thumb is to start with the lowest feasible dose and gradually raise it to get the desired effect. Before using any supplements, talk to your doctor first.


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