The University of Adelaide has warned doctors against using Melatonin, as they believe its safety has not been thoroughly tested.
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that is produced with the onset of darkness and plays a key role in fine tuning people’s circadian rhythms, including the timing of sleep and other biological processes.
In a paper released in the journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, professor David Kennaway, head of the Circadian Physiology Laboratory at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute.
This will warn that offering melatonin supplements to children may lead to severe side effects when children reach an older age.
Professor Kennaway said: “The use of melatonin as a drug for the treatment of sleep disorders for children is increasing and this is rather alarming. It's considered to be a 'dietary supplement', not a regulated drug, and is therefore readily available.”
He added that melatonin is registered as a treatment for primary insomnia in those aged 55 years or above.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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