Melatonin (Mltn) is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in your brain. It has mainly been studied in relation to sleep cycles and controlling your body clock.
Historically Mltn has been used to treat:
•Seasonal Affective Disorder
•Controlling sleep patterns of shift workers
•Adjusting sleep patterns from jet lag
•Chronic Cluster Headaches
Recent research published in Life Science Journal shows that Mltn plays a role in the perception of acute pain and inflammatory pain. Mltn does this by activating receptors in your spinal cord and in your brain.
Mltn also influences neuropathic pain with receptors in your thalamus, hypothalamus, as well as other areas of your brain.
Mltn will block the production of specific cytokines that produce inflammation. Producing an anti-inflammatory effect without the gastrointestinal risk associated with classic NSAIDS.
It has also been shown to act as an anti-oxidant, anxiolytic, anti-hypertensive, and sedative.
Mltn will also have a major influence your circadian rhythms which are better known as your "body clock" that controls your waking and sleep cycles.
Studies with people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia have shown definite benefits with less pain when using supplemental Mltn. Dosages of 3mg, 6mg, and 10mg all seem to have been helpful.
These studies have been short in duration, and used only small groups of people, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn for the general population. Scientists are hopeful that further studies with larger groups of people may show more clearly the benefits of Mltn supplements.
Researchers speculate why Mltn may help with Fibromyalgia pain:
•Fibromyalgia has an inflammatory component that may be blocked by Mltn.
•Fibromyalgia sufferers often have sleep disturbances that may be corrected by Mltn.
•Depression can make chronic pain worse and is often seen in patients with Fibromyalgia. Melatonin has anti-depressant effects.
•Nitric Oxide levels are increased in Fibromyalgia patients. Mltn inhibits the production of nitric oxide.
•Anti-epileptic medications such as Lyrica have been helpful for treating Fibromyalgia. Mltn has demonstrated anti-epileptic influences.
Anytime you start a new medication there is always the risk of an allergic reaction or other unexpected response. You should always discuss any new medicine you are considering with your doctor who knows your history and any other medical problems you may be dealing with.
The most common side effects of Mltn:
Possible Interaction with other medications:
Birth Control Pills
Mltn receptors are being studied as targets for new pharmaceuticals to be use in the management of pain. Effective dosages and side effect profiles are still being studied but the research is promising.