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Alcohol And Melatonin: Is The Mixture Harmful?

alcohol and melatonin

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It is no surprise that melatonin and alcohol mixture would present with health issues. This is due to the similarities between both substances in terms of their effect, even though they do not precisely complement each other. Many medications rarely go well with ethanol. Is it safe to take melatonin with alcohol? How terrible could the combination be?

Some people think that melatonin (pineal hormone), a known natural sleep aid, may not be so harmful due to its origin. This is usually the basis for making serious mistakes that may be life-threatening either immediately or in the long run. Taking melatonin with ethanol may be unintended as there are various possibilities of how the mixture could occur. Using products such as mouthwash and other ethanol-based content while taking the pineal hormone may result in an ethanol melatonin mix. What happens if one takes melatonin with alcohol?

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Is Melatonin Safe To Take With Alcohol?

To understand the possible consequences of mixing melatonin and alcohol, it is vital to know the functions of both substances. The natural hormone can be found in the human body and is produced by the pineal gland, usually at late hours of the night. The function of this hormone is to trigger the feeling of sleepiness. This reaction by nature allows one to sleep. The pineal hormone is also made synthetically in laboratories to provide options for those with sleep disorders. The medication is available in 1mg to 10mg.

Ethanol, on its own, is a depressant, and it also creates the feeling of drowsiness, inducing sleep in its way.

Mixing melatonin with alcohol may not be such a good idea as pineal hormone works to regulate the circadian rhythm (sleep cycles) at day and night while ethanol creates the same drowsy effect and a feeling of intoxication at any time of the day.

Pineal hormone capsules are recommended for people having trouble sleeping, and ethanol is a sedative that inhibits the production and activities of the Pineal hormone in the body. What are the possible risks associated with melatonin pills and alcohol?

Risks Of Mixing Melatonin And Alcohol

As earlier stated, liquor can disrupt the amount of Pineal hormone produced in the body. Melatonin and alcohol use presents with the following health risks:

  • Ethanol and melatonin escalate drowsiness, making it impossible to drive, operate heavy machinery, and focus while doing sensitive tasks. This can lead to accidents.
  • Mixing alcohol and melatonin can cause anxiety, which often leads to a spike in blood pressure as well as increased irritability.
  • Melatonin plus ethanol may cause complications such as swelling of ankles and feet
  • Face flushing and irregular heartbeat
  • Melatonin after alcohol may cause a person to pass out
  • Shortness of breath may be experienced

anxious woman cannot fall asleep

The risks of ethanol with melatonin are even more significant with pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as this may affect the baby. Individuals with other health conditions such as bleeding disorders, people with diabetes, and high blood pressure are at a significant risk of melatonin alcohol interaction.

Melatonin and alcohol death is quite rare, and even if it should occur, it would most likely be from underlying conditions or the amount of ethanol taken. The pineal hormone is relatively safe and is not lethal, even in extremely high doses; however, there will be negative health consequences.

Safe Amount Of Alcohol To Take With Melatonin

There is no recognized safe amount of ethanol that one could take with the hormone pill to avoid Melatonin and alcohol effects. However, there are ways to ensure that one does not suffer the health issues associated with the mix. Ethanol has a short half-life of a few hours, and when digestion is complete, then one can decide to take the medication. One could use the information on the duration of ethanol digestion to ensure adequate spacing between the uses of both substances.

Ideally, the pineal hormone pill is taken about 30 minutes before bed. Ethanol is known to counteract the effects of most medications; a good example is alcohol and prednisolone mix. Melatonin with alcohol dramatically affects the functions of medicine.

It is best to confide in a doctor to understand the kinetics of the drug and its effective doses.

When To See a Doctor

There are many ways that one may unintentionally mix melatonin with alcohol. The time of the day when this mixture occurs is also valid information as hormone pill is mostly taken before bed. Indulging in ethanol consumption in the evenings is reported to have a negative effect on a sleep schedule and may also present with side effects.

Those who are ardent ethanol drinkers are most at risk as their ethanol tolerance is high and this means that the melatonin alcohol side effects would be more pronounced. Whether it’s a pineal hormone mix or some other medication such as Tylenol and alcohol, one should consult a doctor immediately to understand the extent of toxicity of both substances.

Best Practice

For melatonin safe use, it is imperative that the users have a full understanding of the function and application of the medication as well as its side effects when misused. This can be achieved by consulting a doctor for advice on drug interaction. For those who have ethanol dependencies and are prone to experiencing these mismanagements, there are helpful alcohol addiction resources that can provide adequate information as well as practical guides on how to overcome addiction to drinking.

There is no need to battle alcohol addiction alone. Addiction rehab centers provide help and support to individuals in need. Treating drug and alcohol addiction is a long process, but recovery is worth it.

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View Sources
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  2. Al Kury LT, Zeb A, Abidin ZU, Irshad N, Malik I, Alvi AM, Khalil AAK, Ahmad S, Faheem M, Khan AU, Shah FA, Li S. Neuroprotective effects of melatonin and celecoxib against ethanol-induced neurodegeneration: a computational and pharmacological approach. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019 Aug 2;13:2715-2727. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683968/
  3. Ekman, A. C., Leppaluoto, J., Huttunen. P. et al. Ethanol inhibits melatonin secretion in healthy volunteers in a dose-dependent randomized double blind cross-over study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 77, 780–783. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/77/3/780/2649845
  4. Kuhlwein, E., Hauger, R. L. and Irwin, M. R. Abnormal nocturnal melatonin secretion and disordered sleep in abstinent alcoholics. Biological Psychiatry 54, 1437–1443. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006322303000052
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.

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