What is Circadin?
Circadin is a melatonin supplement taken orally as 2mg prolonged release tablets. The medication may be prescribed for short term use as a cure for insomnia and jet lag. The synthetic melatonin contained in Circadin mimics the action of the natural bodily hormone produced in the pineal gland. Taken 1 - 2 hours before bedtime, the medication creates a feeling of drowsiness and may allow you to fall asleep more easily (or earlier) than you normally would. It may also help you to remain asleep and not wake during the night. Used correctly, Circadin can help you to adjust to a new time zone and overcome the effects of jet lag.
Circadin is not a sleeping pill in the conventional sense of the term like Zaleplon, Zolpidem and Zopiclone. It does not contain Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics or other drugs to make you sleep.
What is the active ingredient of Circadin?
The active ingredient of Circadin is a synthetic melatonin that mimics the natural melatonin produced in your brain’s pineal gland. Melatonin is produced in greatest quantities at night, regulating your circadian rhythm and allowing you to sleep. Taken 1- 2 hours before you go to bed, Circadin causes drowsiness and may help you to fall asleep even if your body is not accustomed to sleep at that particular time.
How does Circadin work?
Sleep is a natural biological function that is partly regulated by melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland. When you travel to a new time zone, it can take your body clock days to fully adjust to the new schedule. This is the cause of the unpleasant condition known as jet lag. Circadin tablets can help you to fall asleep at an unaccustomed hour by releasing synthetic melatonin into your bloodstream. This mimics the natural action of your pineal gland and causes drowsiness. Circadin should not be confused with sleeping tablets that contain barbiturates or hypnotic drugs. It is a melatonin supplement that stimulates a natural sleep process.
Who can take Circadin?
Our online GPs may be able to consider prescribing Circadin to anybody over the age of 18 with jet lag, or who expects to suffer from jet lag. If you are allergic to melatonin, or are pregnant or breastfeeding you cannot take Circadin. If you suffer from liver or kidney problems, or have an auto-immune disease, you may be unable to take Circadin. When you complete the short online health questionnaire, our duty GP will check whether you have any relevant health issues. You will only be prescribed Circadin if it is safe for you to use.
Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol may reduce the effectiveness of the active ingredient melatonin. Circadin is designed to create a feeling of drowsiness and cause sleep. You should not take the medication if you need to drive or operate machinery.
What doses of Circadin are available?
Circadin is available in 2mg prolonged release tablets for the treatment of jet lag in adult patients. The active ingredient of the medication is a synthetic melatonin that replicates the natural melatonin hormone produced in your brain’s pineal gland. Melatonin creates a feeling of drowsiness, initiating the sleep process. To treat jet lag, take one 2mg Circadin tablet 1-2 hours before you go to bed. You should swallow the tablet whole.
- Do not take Circadin tablets with alcohol. The effectiveness of the melatonin may be reduced. Alcohol may also disrupt your natural sleep process and reduce the quality of your sleep.
- Smoking can also reduce the effectiveness of melatonin.
Most cases of jet lag are resolved within a week as the body naturally adjusts to its new time zone. If you have severe jet lag or you continue to be unable to sleep, you should not use Circadin for longer than thirteen weeks. Your online GP will give you precise individual instructions about how to use the medication safely.
How do I take Circadin?
To treat jet lag, take a single 2mg Circadin tablet (swallowed whole) 1 -2 hours before you go to bed. Each tablet contains synthetic melatonin hormone as an active ingredient. The melatonin is gradually released into your bloodstream causing a feeling of natural drowsiness. You should try to finish your daily routine before you take a Circadin tablet and aim to already be in a relaxed and restful state of mind. This will maximise the effect of the tablet and help you to fall asleep, especially if your body clock is not accustomed to sleep at this time. It is important not to drink alcohol if you are taking a Circadin tablet. The effects of melatonin will be reduced and your natural sleep process can be disrupted.
Can I take Circadin and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while you are taking any prescription medicine. If you drink alcohol with Circadin the effectiveness of the active ingredient melatonin will be reduced and any side effects of the medication may be exacerbated. Alcohol may also disrupt your natural sleep process and reduce the quality of your sleep.
What are the side effects of Circadin?
Your Cricadin tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you take Circadin exactly as directed by our online GP, you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Uncommon: (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
- Chest pain
Rare: (may affect up to 1 in 1000 people)
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Severe chest pain due to angina
- Feeling your heartbeat
- Visual impairment
- Blurred vision
- Vertigo (a feeling of dizziness or “spinning”)
- Presence of red blood cells in the urine
- Reduced number of white blood cells in the blood
- Reduced blood platelets, which increases risk of bleeding or bruising
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When should I not take Circadin?
You cannot take Circadin if you are allergic to the active ingredient melatonin, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you suffer from any of the following medical conditions, or are taking any of the following medications, you should mention them when you complete the short online health questionnaire. You may still be able to take Circadin, but your online GP will only prescribe the medication if it is safe for you to use.
- Liver or kidney problems.
- Intolerance to some sugars.
- Autoimmune disease
- Quinolones and rifampicin
- Oestrogens (used in contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy)
- Adrenergic agonists/antagonists
- Opiate agonists/antagonists
- Prostaglandin inhibitors
- Antidepressant medication
- Benzodiazepines and
- Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.