Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dr. Oz Dissing Melatonin

Did anyone see Dr. Oz’s show this week where he basically puts down melatonin and disputes it’s ability to help people? I watched the show with my husband to see what terrible thing he had to say about melatonin as a sleep aid and was surprised that much of his complaints were about how people don’t follow the recommended dose and take too much of it. Now couldn’t that be said about any medication? Of course if you don’t take the recommended dose you can expose yourself to some possible side effects for any medication. In the case of melatonin, he described how people can experience a hungover feeling the morning after taking multiple doses throughout the night. He even described nightmares and morning grogginess upon waking as possible side effects.

I also thought that it was interesting that he said that melatonin doesn’t help initiate sleep, but rather it’s a regulator of sleep. We’ve seen melatonin put our son to sleep in minutes. For him it does appear to have the ability to bring him to sleep, not as strong as a sedative, but still pretty quickly. We’ve even seen a rage quit once his bedtime melatonin kicked in. He began to relax and fell asleep.

I wanted to share that our experience with melatonin has been completely different. First of all, my son takes a small dose before bedtime each night based on the recommendation and supervision of his doctor. For him, he’s experienced very positive results. He doesn’t have any night terrors anymore and seems to sleep much better. He also wakes up much better feeling refreshed because his sleep quality is improved. In fact, on the rare occasion that we forget to give him the melatonin, the night terrors immediately return and he has disrupted sleep.

I know the research is still out on this hormone, but it’s been very helpful for our son. I worry that Dr. Oz’s tv show will scare people from giving it a try.

What are your thoughts?

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http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/melatonin-not-magic-bullet-sleep

10 comments:

  1. My 12 year daughter has never been a good sleeper EVER!! She is always sick with what ever is going around and was so grumpy . More than the average 12 year old girl. She has been on melatonin for a couple of months and she is a completely new girl. She is asleep at 8.30pm every night and awake at 6:30 every morning. She can get to band practice by 7:15am and singing lessons at 7am as well. She is a totally new girl and she feels amazing well. SHE feels better! I'm sorry Dr Oz but this is a magic bullet in my home.
    ps i have been following your blog since forever and would check in and out with it, but sadly we just received the news that our 6 year old also has a severer mental illness. I tossed up with the 'should we keep it a secret'. we didn't when my oldest daughter , now 21, was diagnosed with bipolar so i'm not sure why I wanted to keep it a secret this time. Anyway i have loved your blog so much over the years, we decided to start one for this new journey. My older daughter was never really violent but our gorgeous little baby will stab us with what ever she has in her reach. When i read your post on such violence i couldn't really identify with that aspect, but now I'm so glad i have been a long time follower of yours. Like your heading says, we are not alone! So thanks.

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    1. Donna-I’m so sorry to hear about your 6 year old, it’s devastating news, even if you’ve faced challenges with older siblings, it doesn't take the sting away when you hear yet another child is suffering, sometimes it hurts more. I’m really sorry and yes, you're not alone. I hope you can feel encouraged from my blog that my son’s violence has gotten so much better and we’ve gotten better at handling it and preventing it before the bomb goes off. Hugs to you and your family, we’re here for you!

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  2. My husband took Melatonin for about a month and while it helped his sleep his doctor really discouraged him from continuing to take it as he feels strongly that if you take melatonin for an extended amount of time it can create hormone imbalances that are hard to correct - with some people being more sensitive to this than others. So, I guess like anything else, there is a risk/reward balance that one must weigh.

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    1. That's a good point, I wish we had more research on this...

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  3. This is fascinating. Our psychiatrist didn't want to put our daughter on Melatonin at all, saying it was a synthetic hormone and he would rather try another sleep aid. I thought that was interestig. He was more old school. We are seeing someone new now and I'll definitely ask him his opinion. Glad you're having success with it.
    On another note, I'd love to hear other people's experiences with how many medicines they averaged before they found success in controlling their child's symptoms. We are a year into this without much change. Is this typical?
    Cathy

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    1. Thats’s a good question, check out E’s response below.

      I’ve heard that it’s pretty common for it to take a while to find the right meds that work. We started meds 2 1/2 years ago. It wasn't until last summer that Lithium brought us the stability we were looking for. In the meantime, we tried a lot of different meds, some only for a few days since he was allergic or had strange reactions to it. It is a long process, I hope someday research will make this easier to know what will work for each individual through blood tests--they’re working on this.

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  4. So many interesting thoughts on melatonin. I use it personally on occasion and it definitely helps me to sleep. My Daughter with BP tries it but feels it doesn't always help. In fact, we saw her psych doc today and she is doing great but still struggling to fall asleep, she asked for Lunesta. He said- "I would rather you try melatonin" But since she stated she had, he said to stop clonidine- which she is on now- and add Trazadone as needed- only when she can't fall asleep. I will suggest to her that she take half dose of the Trazadone only when needed and try the melatonin based on how much difficulty she feels she will have.

    That said, in response to Cathy, I will share a little of our journey because we all know how difficult navigating the meds are. Just to start- right now my daughter is doing very well- age 17 and started college a year early- stable and happy living in the dorms about an hour and a half from home. I wish this outcome for all of you. I know the bumps will still be there but right now-- all good. She is currently on Seroquel (hoping to wean off but not yet), lamictal (this may be her more permanent med) and many supplements prescribed by our integrative internal med doc.

    But, the first year and a half- she was on 4 different antidepressants (didnt know she was BP- thought "just" severe depression), then added risperidone (atypical antipshycotic) and ultimately switched to Seroquel (originally 600mg- now 150), several different benzos (she has one with her at college in case of any severe anxiety- only used once because "drunk kids in hallway were keeping me awake"). In addition, we have tried several different sleeping meds- trazadone, lunesta, ambien and one other that is escaping me now. Besides that, she was diagnosed PCOS so we added Glumetza (after metformin tore up her stomach) and BCP's.

    So, Cathy- hang in there- keep looking for good docs. If I listed the number of specialists we saw, it would be just as long.

    Again, I wish a good outcome for all of us in this journey to help our children. Right now, my daughter has her sites set on being a clinical psychologist. I think she will rock that job because she is a living example of pure will power to beat this disease into submission. As hard as it has been for us- she has had to live it.

    Thanks Mama bear- love this blog.

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  5. Mama Bear,
    I actually started trying to take Melatonin about a week or two ago. I take the recommended dose and I have to admit it doesn't knock me out, but it does help me get to that sleepy point. I wasn't sleeping all night before and my doctor had me taking muscle relaxers because pain was causing me to not sleep deep enough to have restorative sleep. For me, melatonin works much better and I am sleeping all night. Granted I wake up a little groggy but I always feel that way due to some autoimmune issues. I was actually impressed with how well it worked for me!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m glad it works well for you!

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