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Circadin (Melatonin) is a prolonged release melatonin supplement which can be taken to assist with insomnia and, after the positive effects on jet lag were studied in the Cochrane Review, it can also be used by anyone suffering from sleep issues after changes in time zones due to long flights.
The hormone melatonin is released naturally from the pineal gland during the evening and through the night to help you get to sleep, and stay asleep whilst it is dark. During the day when it is light, melatonin production is suppressed, and this is how the body regulates its sleep/wake cycle.
After crossing into different time zones, the time you would normally start thinking about going to bed, around 8 pm or 9 pm, may now be the middle of the afternoon or night in the country you have travelled to. As such, your body clock becomes confused as at first, melatonin still naturally begins to be produced around the same time as normal. This is your normal circadian rhythm which is a twenty four hour cycle during which physiological processes naturally occur such as going to sleep and waking up. You can wait until your jet lag passes naturally and your body gets back in line with its new time zone, but this can take several days. As such, some people find enormous benefit in using a melatonin supplement to help top up the body when it is not producing this hormone at the right time, or enough of it, to induce sleep.
In trials, Circadin was shown to effectively secrete melatonin over several hours which enabled patients to enjoy a natural sleep cycle despite disturbances due to external influences such as jet lag.
When you are shifting between time zones, one study also showed that small doses of melatonin, such as that found in Circadin, can help travellers overcome jet lag more quickly and with fewer issues. This could account for why 1.3% of American adults take melatonin for jet lag and other sleep disorders; a number which more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.
Circadin is prescription only as it has been approved by regulatory medicine authorities after trials showed it to be clinically effective for anyone suffering from some form of insomnia. If you wish to purchase Circadin prior to a long distance trip, you will need to fill in a quick questionnaire which will enable the health experts at Click Pharmacy to confirm whether this medication is safe and/or necessary. Once prescribed, you can purchase Circadin online and it will be sent out via next day delivery where possible.
Circadin is presently the only licensed melatonin medication available in the UK, and although other quick release products are available online, they are not licensed here. It has been shown that these quick release products can affect blood pressure negatively, causing it to peak, whereas Circadin offers a gentle, slow release of melatonin throughout the course of several hours which helps your body clock to safely, naturally and effectively get itself back on track, easing sleep issues such as jet lag and insomnia.
Circadin’s active ingredient is melatonin.
The inactive ingredients include:
Tell your doctor if you know you suffer with allergies to any of the above.
It is advised that patients take Circadin after a light meal and around 1 to 2 hours before bed which is roughly the same time your pineal gland would naturally begin to produce melatonin to help you begin to feel tired. A quicker release of the active ingredient will occur if taken on an empty stomach.
Follow the instructions in the patient leaflet and/or any recommendations given to you by your GP or Click Pharmacy doctor for best results.
Once taken, the formulation releases melatonin steadily for anywhere up to 10 hours, allowing you to enjoy a natural sleep pattern during this time. It helps by adding an external source of melatonin to the natural source already secreted from your pineal gland which may be limited in someone suffering with jet lag or insomnia. This additional melatonin facilitates a sense of tiredness, eases the ability to get to sleep and stay asleep and improves the overall quality of sleep, which in turn helps patients experience a better quality of life overall.
The effects of Circadin have not been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding women and as such it cannot be recommended as safe at this time. If you are struggling with insomnia or jet leg whilst pregnant or breastfeeding, book a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options from the comfort of your home with a Click Pharmacy doctor.
Some people may find that they experience certain side effects when using Circadin though it is considered to be unlikely. As when starting to take any medication it is important to remain vigilant and aware of any changes with your health. If you notice any of the following and find them to be affecting your health or worrying you in any way, speak to your doctor or pharmacist to get advice.
The following have been known to occur in around 1 in 100 patients which is medically considered to be ‘uncommon’ so do not be alarmed by this list:
Different people will have a unique reaction to the medication so tell your doctor if you notice any of the above, or any other issues, as soon as possible.
Content reviewed 06 April 2020, Last updated 06 April 2020