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 works by regulating your sleep-wake cycle. As it gets dark at night, this causes the levels of melatonin to rise, preparing the body for sleep. Melatonin reduces as daylight arises, causing you to wake. During jet lag, your natural melatonin levels are disrupted as your body is trying to adjust 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.
The effects of Circadin generally last for up to 8 hours, depending on the dose taken.
Insomnia is a relatively common sleep disorder which is thought to affect around one third of the UK population at some point in their lives. Studies have shown that Circadin has proved effective in helping people with insomnia to 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 to identify the root cause of it and change your behavior and thinking patterns.
There is evidence to show that Circadin can help people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. 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.
Circadin was originally 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 are able to 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.
The active ingredient in Circadin is melatonin, each tablet containing 2mg.
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 1-2 hours before you go to bed for up to 13 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:
Consult your doctor if you have decreased functioning of the kidneys.
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 enhance the drowsiness effect 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 enhance feelings of drowsiness and dizziness.
Circadin is a brand name medicine which contains Melatonin. They are essentially the same thing.
It is safest to take Circadin/Melatonin if a doctor has prescribed it as they will be able to provide you with the correct guidelines on how much to take, and how to take it correctly for your individual needs. When you purchase melatonin supplements over the counter, the amount of melatonin present in the capsules may vary as may the additional ingredients.
Jet lag is something that can't be prevented as travelling to different time zones upsets the natural circadian rhythm of your body. However, to ease the feelings of tiredness you can try gradually easing 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.
Circadin can be taken safely for up to two years. 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 which is man made and therefore not naturally occuring.
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