Circadin contains melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the body which regulates your sleep cycle. It increases at nightfall and decreases as the sun rises, causing you to fall asleep during the night. Circadin capsules can help ease jet lag and insomnia, where you have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep at normal times.
Circadin contains melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the body which regulates your sleep cycle. It increases at nightfall and decreases as the sun rises, causing you to fall asleep during the night. Circadin tablets can help ease jet lag and insomnia, where you have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep at regular times.
Circadin works by regulating your sleep-wake cycle. As it gets dark at night, this causes melatonin levels to rise, preparing the body for sleep. Melatonin levels drop as daylight arises, causing you to wake up. During jet lag, your natural melatonin levels are disrupted as your body adjusts to a different time zone. If you have insomnia, you may have a reduced level of the melatonin hormone. Circadin works by balancing out your sleep-wake cycle to help you sleep.
Insomnia is a relatively common sleep disorder and affects around one-third of the UK population at some point in their lives. Studies have shown that Circadin has proven effective in helping people with insomnia fall asleep and get a restful, healthy sleep. While the supplement can aid the onset of sleep, it does not provide a cure for insomnia. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help identify the root cause of insomnia and change your behaviour and thinking to improve your sleep.
There is evidence to show that Circadin can help people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Often referred to as winter depression, the change in season triggers low mood and a lack of energy. In people with SAD, it's thought that the natural level of melatonin increases, making you feel tired and sluggish during the day. If you are having trouble sleeping at night because of Seasonal Affective Disorder, then Circadin may help with this.
The effects of Circadin generally lasts for up to 8 hours, depending on the dose taken.
Circadin was initially licensed for use in insomnia. Despite the evidence, this license was not extended to cover using Circadin for jet lag. Therefore, jet lag is an ‘off-label’ use of Circadin. This does not mean that it would be unsafe to use Circadin in this way, but rather that the manufacturers decided not to apply to extend the license, which can be a costly process. Doctors can prescribe drugs off-label, where they are the most appropriate treatment available. The NHS has created a document to explain more about off-label use, which you can access here.
1 tablet once per day, after food, 1-2 hours before bed
|Type of medicine||
Melatonin sleeping tablet
Increases melatonin levels, promotes natural tiredness and sleep
10 or 20 tablets
From £1.49 per pill
Can include chest pain, depression, fainting, blurred vision, nervousness, abnormal dreams, high blood pressure, irritability
The active ingredient in Circadin is melatonin. Each tablet contains 2mg melatonin.
The inactive ingredients are ammonio methacrylate copolymer type B, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, lactose monohydrate, silica (colloidal anhydrous), talc and magnesium stearate.
Circadin should be taken with food one to two hours before going to bed once each day for up to thirteen weeks.
Circadin is a slow-release tablet and should not be crushed or split as this prevents it from working correctly.
Common side effects may include:
Less common side effects may include:
Rare side effects may include:
You should not use Circadin if:
The following medications can interfere with the way Circadin is broken down by the body and should not be taken at the same time:
The following medications can increase drowsiness when taken in conjunction with melatonin:
It is not recommended to take Circadin during pregnancy as it has not been determined if this is safe or not.
Alcohol should be avoided when taking Circadin as it can increase drowsiness and dizziness.
Circadin is a brand name medicine which contains melatonin. Melatonin exists as a generic brand without the name ‘Circadin’. They contain the same active ingredient ‘melatonin’ but may differ in other components that make up the tablets.
Jet lag cannot be prevented as travelling to different time zones upsets your body’s natural circadian rhythm. However, to reduce tiredness, you can gradually ease your way into the altered time zone of the destination you are travelling to by going to bed slightly later or setting your alarm earlier than usual. Try to move around during your flight if you can to get a bit of exercise, stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol as these substances will disrupt your sleep.
It is safest to take Circadin (melatonin) if a doctor has prescribed it as they will provide you with directions on how much to take, and how to take it correctly for your individual needs. If you purchase melatonin supplements, the amount of melatonin present in the product may vary as may the additional ingredients.
Circadin can be taken safely for up to thirteen weeks. However, continued use can lead to side effects, including mood disorders and drowsiness. The safety of taking Circadin long term is not yet known, so it's recommended as a short term solution only.
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body. Circadin and melatonin supplements contain a synthetic version of the hormone and are not naturally occurring.
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