Melatonin might help you sleep if you struggle. It’s a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles and is used for sleep aids. But can you get melatonin over the counter? Many people wonder if they can get melatonin without a prescription. In this blog post, we will explore the availability and regulations surrounding over-the-counter melatonin, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision about using this popular sleep aid.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone released at night. It is a biological clock regulating our sleep-wake cycle, which lasts approximately 24 hours. Melatonin promotes and regulates sleep. In this post, we will explore whether Melatonin is available over the counter and discuss its availability in different countries.

Is Melatonin an Effective Sleep Aid?

Licensed forms of Melatonin are prescribed for managing insomnia in adults over 55 or alleviating jet lag symptoms. The Cochrane Collaboration, a global group of scientists, conducted studies on Melatonin’s effectiveness in managing jet lag.

These studies involved airline passengers, airline staff, and military personnel who used either Melatonin or a placebo (a dummy pill) to assess Melatonin’s efficacy. The Cochrane Collaboration concluded that Melatonin is remarkably effective at preventing or reducing jet lag. Furthermore, they determined that short-term Melatonin use is safe (Herxheimer & Petrie, 2002).

Can You Get Melatonin Over the Counter?

Melatonin is available over the counter in some countries and not in others. In the United States, you can buy Melatonin without a prescription. Other countries, like the UK, need a prescription from a doctor or private prescriber to get Melatonin.

There’s no problem with melatonin, but it’s a prescription-only drug. It can only be supplied after a qualified prescriber issues a prescription. The most commonly prescribed Melatonin is Circadin, which contains 2 mg of Melatonin. Other prescription-only brands include Slenyto and Syncrodin. Generic Melatonin is also available.

In summary, a prescription is required to obtain Melatonin as it is a prescription-only medication. In contrast, Melatonin is considered a supplement in many countries, including the USA. While weight gain is an uncommon side effect of Melatonin use, other unique side effects occur in less than 1 in 1000 patients.

Melatonin Available On Prescription

1. Circadin Tablets

Circadin 2 mg prolonged-release tablets are the most popular Melatonin form available. Circadin is licensed to treat insomnia characterized by poor sleep quality in patients aged 55 or over. However, it is often prescribed off-label to children and adolescents, even though its licensed use is precisely defined. There has been an increase in Circadin prescriptions, making it one of the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills.

2. Melatonin 2mg, 3mg, and 5mg Capsules (Generic)

These medications are used to treat jet lag in adults for a short period.

3. Slenyto 1mg and 5mg Prolonged-Release Tablets

Slenyto tablets have a specific licensed use. They can be used to treat insomnia in children and adolescents aged 2-18 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Smith-Magenis syndrome when lifestyle changes are not effective.

4. Syncrodin 3mg Film-Coated Tablets

Syncrodin tablets are licensed for short-term treatment of jet lag in adults.

5. Melatonin Liquid (Oral Melatonin Solution)

Melatonin liquid is a prescription item. Each 1ml of the solution contains 1mg of Melatonin. It is licensed for short-term management of jet lag in adults.

What are the ways to get Melatonin?

There are several ways to obtain Melatonin:

1. Getting Melatonin prescribed by an Online doctor:

The most effective way to obtain Melatonin is by getting a prescription from your doctor. Ask your doctor about Melatonin if you’re suffering from jet lag or sleeping problems.

Alternatively, you can consider using over-the-counter sleeping pills, such as sedative antihistamines, as a temporary solution to your sleep issues. More information is provided in the next section.

2. Buying Melatonin from online pharmacies (Private Service):

Certain pharmacies, such as UKMeds and TheOnlineClinic, offer private services that allow patients to purchase prescription-only medicines after an online consultation. This consultation usually involves answering general health questions and providing information about other medical conditions.

A doctor then reviews the questionnaire and provides a private prescription for the medication delivered to the patient’s home. The consultation cost is typically included in the total price of the prescribed medicines.

3. Getting Melatonin on a private prescription:

You can also obtain Melatonin through a private prescription from a doctor after a personal consultation. Online GP services or individual consultations are available for this purpose. Additionally, similar services may be offered to private insurance holders.

In this case, a private prescription is issued, and you need to take it to a pharmacy to obtain Melatonin supplies. When a drug is provided on a private prescription, the patient covers the medication cost and any additional supply fees. This is regardless of age or NHS exemption. You can find more information about personal drugs on this website.

4. Buying Melatonin from abroad:

In many countries, such as the USA, Melatonin is classified as a supplement and can be purchased over the counter. Websites like and eBay list Melatonin for sale. Further details are provided in the following paragraphs.

Can You Import Melatonin For Personal Use?

Melatonin can be imported for personal use from abroad, for instance, from the USA (, Since Melatonin is classified as a prescription-only medication, it is illegal to sell or redistribute it in the UK. It is important to note that delivery to the UK is expensive. Moreover, there may be import duty tax to pay, contributing to the high cost.

Final Words From AzDrug

Melatonin is a great alternative to prescription sleeping pills, like benzodiazepines, antihistamines, and antidepressants. Unlike most sleeping drugs, Melatonin does not produce dependence and addiction. Side effects are not common when taking Melatonin. Melatonin is a more suitable medication for temporarily managing sleeping disorders and jet lag. Reclassifying Melatonin from prescription to pharmacy-only medicine (drugs available from pharmacies) would be reasonable.

Disclaimer: Please see your healthcare practitioner for any medical queries or concerns. Peer-reviewed research and information from medical societies and government agencies are used to support the articles in Health Guide. They are not, however, a replacement for expert medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

  • Buscemi, N., et al. “Melatonin for Treatment of Sleep Disorders: Summary.”, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US), 2004, Accessed 16 July 2023.
  • Costello, Rebecca B., et al. “The Effectiveness of Melatonin for Promoting Healthy Sleep: A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Literature.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, Nov. 2014, Accessed 15 July 2023.
  • Herxheimer, Andrew, and Keith J. Petrie. “Melatonin for the Prevention and Treatment of Jet Lag.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Apr. 2002, Accessed 14 July 2023.
  • Zisapel, Nava. “New Perspectives on the Role of Melatonin in Human Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Their Regulation.” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 175, no. 16, Jan. 2018, pp. 3190–99, Accessed 15 July 2023.

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