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   Author  Topic: Melatonin  (Read 8456 times)
Giovanni
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #25 on: Dec 9th, 2003, 7:51pm »
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http://www.mhni.com/clusterheadaches.html
 
Melatonin
 
 
 
 
Natural sleep hormone that is not produced in normal amounts by cluster patients. This may be an inciting factor in cluster headaches that occur in the night  
Can be used along with other cluster medications; may be able to use a lower dose of other medications when used with melatonin  
Trials have shown that fairly large doses can stop cluster attacks. Suggested dose is 6 to 9 mg at bedtime  
Purchased over-the-counter and appears to have minimal side effects. No current governmental regulation; therefore, if one brand does not help, trying another brand of melatonin may be worthwhile  
Should consult physician before starting  
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t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #26 on: Dec 10th, 2003, 12:06am »
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Yes, I've seen all of those articles, too. There really isn't a definitive body of research on the use of melatonin.  For instance, there are only a couple of studies that measure blood levels achieved from oral melatonin.  But our bodies don't really  make a huge amount of melatonin.  Hormones are generally fairly potent.  Some articles suggest lower dosages and it's the lower dose that works for me.  I just happened  to have 0.3 mg tablets when I started taking it.  0.5 mg has eliminated my headaches and my neurologist believes that it is not a coincidence.  I am chronic and that may make a difference, too.  
 
http://sleepdisorders.about.com/cs/melatonin/a/melatonin_4.htm
 
Melatonin is often administered in far too high a dosage. When this happens, the hormone remains in the blood stream and can cause daytime drowsiness, confusion and that headachy, hangover feeling. In some cases, too high a dose can even cause insomnia, the exact opposite of the result hoped for.
 
A dosage as small as one mg. or even less can cause drowsiness. Start with a very small amount and work your way up to a dosage that works for you. Never take more than you need, and take it only at bedtime.  
 
http://www.websciences.org/sltbr/melfaq.htm
 
How much melatonin does the body produce?
 
Healthy young and middle-aged adults usually secrete about 5 to 25 micrograms of melatonin each night - at least 80 times less than is in the commonly sold 2 milligram (mg.) tablet or capsule. The amount of melatonin the body secretes tends to decline with age, a possible link with an age-related rise in difficulty sleeping.
 
What is the appropriate dose range for melatonin pills or capsules?
 
Major questions in the research community are whether and how much melatonin is effective for the various applications described below. Recent studies mainly have used doses from 1/2 to 5 mg. Debate still centers around the essential action of the hormone - shifting the biological clock, promoting sleep, or both. Some studies have found clock-shifting results at the very lowest doses (1/2 mg.). Studies emphasizing sleep-promoting action have tended to use somewhat higher doses (2 to 5 mg.), although it is not certain that these are necessary to achieve the desired effect. Although these questions are not yet resolved, a basic clinical principle is to use the lowest dose effective for the individual and to work upward, if necessary, with a physician's guidance. The popular impression that "more works better' has not been borne out in many studies of melatonin, and larger doses probably carry a higher risk of undesirable side effects.
 
http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/substances_view/1,1525,804,00.html
 
Migraine    
1-3 mg at bedtime to improve sleep. The lower dose should be tried first. If necessary, gradually increase the dose. Doses lower than 1 mg may also work.
 
Preparations
 
Melatonin is available over the counter in varying doses of up to 3 mg per tablet. However, a fraction of this is required for insomnia, usually about 0.3 mg or less. Too much melatonin or taking it at the wrong time can interrupt normal circadian patterns. Melatonin is produced at its highest level in the pineal gland during darkness. Since melatonin occurs naturally in some foods, it can be sold as an over the counter dietary supplement. It is only one of two hormones (the other is DHEA) not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Natural, animal, and bovine melatonin supplements contain actual extracts from pineal glands. Synthetic melatonin is made from non-animal ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians. It is similar in molecular structure to melatonin produced in the body.
 
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/g2603/0005/2603000516/p2/article.jhtml? term=
 
The proper dosage is not known, but it appears to differ greatly depending on the individual and extent of the sleep disorder. Persons starting the hormone should begin with a very low dose, 100-300 mcg, which is 0.1-0.3 mg, or less, and gradually increase the dosage if needed. Melatonin is quick-acting and should be taken about 30 minutes prior to bedtime. For jet lag, the general recommendation is 300 mcg just before boarding the flight and 1.5 mg after arrival before going to bed. Melatonin should not be taken during the day.
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No, it's not a headache--it's a Stage Ten Primary Chronic Periodic Idiopathic Trigeminovascular Cephalalgic Crisis.
t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #27 on: Dec 10th, 2003, 12:33am »
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One more thought:  I keep reading the same couple of phrases copied over and over again all over the internet about how a high dose can cause drowsiness the next day.  The half-life of melatonin is certainly less than an hour.  May be under half an hour.  I don't remember how to calculate the levels left after a period of time based on the half-life, plus the half-life and the absorption rate are not known exactly.  But no way is there any significant amount left in the plasma seven or eight hours later.    
 
So either a.) it does NOT cause drowsiness the next day and such a statement is total B.S. or b.) even the miniscule amount that would be left after eight hours can have an effect.  Take your pick.
 
I would love to have a couple of people try the low doses and see if it helps. My guess is that there is probably no one thing that would help everyone; it is so damned sneaky and unpredictable.  But I would like to know for certain that this isn't just a very, very, very unlikely coincidence.  If I had cycles I would tend to think it were more likely to be a coincidence.  But I had gone only five days max without a CH for three years, and that just a couple of times.  The melatonin started working the first night I took it.
 
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #28 on: Dec 11th, 2003, 4:10pm »
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The melatonin most certianly works for me.  6-9mg is what I'm doing.  Those nights I forget to take my dose will be the nights I wake up at 1am with my right eye about to pop out.
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t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #29 on: Dec 14th, 2003, 3:17pm »
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The ultimate test:  two stiff drinks last night, enough to make me a little tipsy, but no sign of a CH.  
 
Now at 49 days with no CH or shadows.
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #30 on: Dec 15th, 2003, 8:34am »
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How long did it take for the melatonin to start working for you all?  Also can I take it with 20mg of Inderal?
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #31 on: Dec 15th, 2003, 9:28am »
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Quote:
So either a.) it does NOT cause drowsiness the next day and such a statement is total B.S. or b.) even the miniscule amount that would be left after eight hours can have an effect.  Take your pick.

 
When I take a 3 mg tablet (1/2 time release, 1/2 quick release), I am definitely more likely to sleep through my alarm clock the next morning, and be tired that day.  It may change the sleep structure.  Even though melatonin may be eliminated in a few hours, it has triggered some changes that persist longer.
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t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #32 on: Dec 15th, 2003, 8:27pm »
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Paigelle, the melatonin starting working the night I started taking it (0.3 mg).  I still had occasional mild CHs and shadows until I increased the dose to 0.5 mg.  I was perfectly content with one CH and a shadow or two every week (I had 1 to 3 a day, almost every day, for three years) and started the 0.5mg only because I couldn't find any 0.3 mg tablets and didn't think that I could break 1 mg tablets into 3 pieces.  
 
I don't know of any reason not to take melatonin with Inderal/propanalol but you should ask the physician who prescribed the Inderal for you.  Melatonin is a serious drug even though it is over-the-counter in the US--it is a hormone and requires a prescription in many countries.
 
 
Floridian, melatonin definitely affects different people in different ways.  Have you tried a smaller dose?  When I took 3mg of sustained-release with the 0.5mg of regular melatonin, it interfered with my sleep and caused non-cluster headaches.
 
Maybe there is a series of abnormalities that are inter-related or inter-dependent, any one of which can cause CH.  That may be why different medications and treatments work for different clusterheads and that may be why some people are chronic and some have seasonal CHs.  I am chronic.  Obviously melatonin doesn't work for everyone or this message board wouldn't even be here!
 
For a bit of irony only other clusterheads could understand:
 
Finally my insurance company approved my oxygen--after I sent a 20+ page letter completely describing CH in general, my history and condition, prior and current treatments, studies supporting the use of oxygen (from here and elsewhere), etc.  They had given me 10 vials of Imitrex a month with no hassle.  (Different departments approve pharmaceuticals and oxygen.)  It took over two months to get it approved, and now I don't really need it!
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jflynn
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #33 on: Dec 16th, 2003, 1:19pm »
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Agreed, I am now often late for work but no more CH.  It started working for me in about 3 days.  I will try reducing dosage.
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t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #34 on: Dec 29th, 2003, 9:45pm »
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Broke my no-headache streak by drinking way too much last weekend.  Imitrex shot slapped it down in under ten minutes and I kept on drinking and no CH since.  Still taking melatonin 0.5mg at bedtime.
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No, it's not a headache--it's a Stage Ten Primary Chronic Periodic Idiopathic Trigeminovascular Cephalalgic Crisis.
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #35 on: Dec 29th, 2003, 10:28pm »
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UPDATE:
 
I've reduced my usual dose to 3mg and pain free, can wake up as easy as normally.  6-9mg is apparently too much for me.  3mg seems perfect, less might also work well.
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t_h_b
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #36 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 7:00am »
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It's really hard to screw around with your meds once you get relief.  I'm still taking meds that probably aren't necessary but it's not worth the risk of having CH in order to dump them.  Maybe after a year?  If doing the hokey-pokey every morning in the shower worked, I would do it.....
 
If the 3mg is working, I probably wouldn't be able to work up the courage to mess around with it.  
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No, it's not a headache--it's a Stage Ten Primary Chronic Periodic Idiopathic Trigeminovascular Cephalalgic Crisis.
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #37 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 9:54am »
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Agree 100% with above statement, "if it ain't broke don't fix it."
 
Since I've no negative side effects and the meds are working I'm afraid to fiddle with dosage.  But still, less is almost always better if it works.
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Re: Melatonin
« Reply #38 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 10:09am »
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I was off all meds in 3 weeks after the melatonin, ssri, magnesium combo, and have been pf ever since.  I'm glad you guys are having good luck with something so cheap and readily available.
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