Update on Melatonin and ADHD

A kind reader recently reminded me that I had not updated you on how my son was doing on nightly Melatonin.  Thanks for reminding me, my ADHD-Inattentive (ADHD-PI)  brain needs as much help from you guys as you have time to give!!

The Melatonin has worked quite well but I alternate it with diphenhydramine 50mg (Benadryl).  I did not want my son taking the Melatonin every night because no studies have been done on children taking this sleep aid long term and I am concerned that in the developing brain giving a constant dose of a hormone is probably not a good thing.

His pediatrician wanted him on the antihistamine, Claritin daily as he tends to have seasonal allergies and we live in a city with lots of trees, grasses and molds.  He does not take the Claritin daily but he does take the every other day Benadryl unless it is a high allergy season during which time he takes Claritin in the morning and Benadry at night.  Benadryl is an old drug that is thought to be extremely safe, there are many people who have taken it daily for years without any adverse outcomes and it helps you sleep and it makes you drowsy.  My son takes 50mg and his is weight 85 pounds.

On weekends and during the summer he takes no Melatonin but he often requests it over the Benadryl.  He reports that the Melatonin is much better than the Benadry for getting him to sleep and he reports that his sleep is more complete and that he feels more rested after a night where he has taken Melatonin.

The studies on Melatonin have reported it to be safe but no long term studies have been performed.  My son does so much better when he has slept well as do all of us.  So the bottom line of the Melatonin is this: 

1.  It works great.
2.  In children (and maybe in adults) it should not be used every day.
3.  Benadryl is a substitute that is probably safer but according to my son, not as effective.
4.  Melatonin is a tool that I am happy to have but also reluctant to use continuously.

Thanks for reminding me to post about this!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    I have just given my son who has inattentive ADD a dose of Melatonin and he has had the best nights sleep in years. (He is nearly 13 years old).
    He woke up much more chirpy and with a bigger appetite for breakfast than usual.


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