Rozerem vs Melatonin – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Rozerem

It is the brand name of a medication called ramelteon which is part of a group of drugs called melatonin receptor agonists.

Mechanism of Action

This drug works by affecting certain substances in the body that help regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

It medication is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia.

Its approval was supported by a number of clinical trials, investigating both the drug’s abuse-potential and tolerability profiles and the efficacy of the medication. It is actually the first prescription sleep medication that has shown no evidence of abuse, dependence, or withdrawal.

Uses

This prescription medication is approved for use in adults having trouble falling asleep due to insomnia.

Note – avoid taking this medication together with or just after eating a high-fat meal.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is 8 mg orally, no earlier than half an hour before bedtime. This is also the maximum recommended dose.

Important notes – your sleep problems should improve within 7 to 10 days after you start the treatment.

Also, this medication should not be taken by people from severe liver problems or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Alcohol

It is not recommended to take this melatonin receptor agonist in conjunction with alcohol because it will only increase the risk of severe side effects.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness;
  • worsening sleep problems;
  • tired feeling;
  • nausea.

Less common side effects may include:

  • hallucinations;
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing;
  • milky discharge from the nipples;
  • thoughts about hurting yourself;
  • irregular menstrual periods;
  • vomiting;
  • swelling of the tongue or throat;
  • feeling that the throat is closing;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • a missed menstrual period;
  • decreased sexual desire;
  • worsening depression;
  • loss of interest in sex;
  • fertility problems.
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Drug Interaction

Since this melatonin receptor agonist may interact with other drugs, tell your doctor about all the current medication you are taking, especially:

  • doxepin;
  • rifampin;
  • perforomist;
  • methylphenidate;
  • donepezil;
  • fluconazole;
  • tizanidine;
  • ketoconazole;
  • albuterol.

Contraindications

To be sure that this melatonin receptor agonist is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • sleep apnea;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • liver disease;
  • mental illness;
  • a breathing disorder;
  • a history of depression.

Addiction

Unlike some other sleep medications, this melatonin receptor agonist is not known to be habit-forming.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known whether this melatonin receptor agonist passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. In addition, it is not known whether this melatonin receptor agonist will harm an unborn baby.

Melatonin

It is a natural hormone that is secreted by your body’s pineal gland.

Mechanism of Action

It helps to maintain the wake-sleep cycle or the circadian clock, an internal 24-hour “clock” which plays a vital role in establishing when we fall asleep or when we wake up.

Uses

It may help people with low melatonin levels and people with disrupted circadian rhythms (such as – individuals who work the night shift) to sleep better.

Insomnia can be caused by:

  • specific substance abuse;
  • unhealthy sleep habits;
  • certain biological factors;
  • medical and psychiatric conditions.

According to studies, people with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • mood disturbance, like – irritability;
  • waking up too early in the morning;
  • unrefreshing sleep;
  • difficulty falling asleep;
  • cognitive impairment, like – difficulty concentrating;
  • fatigue or low energy;
  • behavior problems, like – feeling aggression;
  • problems at work or school;
  • difficulty in personal relationships;
  • waking up during the night.
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In addition to improving sleep quality, melatonin is known to have an important role within the immune system.

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Most dietary supplements like this one have not been well-studied in pregnant women. However, it may pass into breast milk and negatively affect the breastfed infant.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is between 2 tenths of an mg and 5 mg 60 minutes before bedtime.

Contraindications

To be sure that this supplement is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • high or low blood pressure;
  • depression;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • using any medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • an autoimmune disease;
  • epilepsy.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • diarrhea;
  • nausea;
  • increased risk for seizures.

Less common side effects may include:

  • blood pressure changes;
  • loss of appetite;
  • weakness;
  • stomach pain;
  • confusion;
  • vivid dreams;
  • joint or back pain;
  • daytime drowsiness.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Ambien (zolpidem);
  • Ativan (lorazepam);
  • Xanax (alprazolam).

Bottom Line – Rozerem vs Melatonin

Rozerem (active ingredient – ramelteon) is a sedative that is unique among approved sleep-promoting medications due to the absence of sedating effects and abuse liability.

Ramelteon is a melatonin receptor agonist, however, it is different from exogenous melatonin in its structure, binding affinity, receptor subtype selectivity, metabolism, elimination half-life, and efficacy.

It works by affecting certain substances in the body which help regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

Melatonin is an OTC dietary supplement which may help people with low melatonin levels and people with disrupted circadian rhythms to sleep better.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4273450/
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03117725
http://www.caltech.edu/news/research-suggests-brains-melatonin-may

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