Insomnia is one of the most common health complaints people experience, with between 10% and 30% of the population struggling with chronic insomnia. But the fact that it’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy to live with. Insomnia can leave you feeling exhausted day after day. It can even lead to depression. Sleeping pills are not safe to use over the long-term, so what’s a sleep-deprived insomniac to do? Melatonin can help naturally regulate your body’s circadian rhythms, helping you to fall asleep. What if, like many people, you can’t sleep because you’re in pain? Can you take Tylenol with melatonin? In most cases, it’s safe to mix the two drugs.
Article at a Glance
Tylenol and melatonin are generally safe to use together, with no major drug interactions.
It is still possible for Tylenol and melatonin to interact with other drugs, or to cause an allergic reaction. So don’t try both drugs at the same time for the first time.
Chronic pain and insomnia may signal a serious underlying medical condition. So don’t take Tylenol or melatonin longer than a few weeks without consulting a doctor.
Can You Take Tylenol with Melatonin?
There are no serious, proven drug interactions between Tylenol (acetaminophen) and melatonin. This means they are usually safe to take together. They may also be a safer combination than some other alternatives, such as prescription painkillers or prescription sedatives.
That doesn’t mean there’s no risk of interactions. All drugs can cause side effects, even benign over-the-counter drugs and hormones like melatonin that naturally occur in your body. To reduce the risk of serious issues, try the following:
Do not take the drugs for the first time together. Start with one, wait a few days, and then add the other to the regimen.
Start with a low dose, and gradually increase it based on your body’s response.
Never exceed more than the maximum dosage for either drug.
Don’t take either drug for the first time right before driving, watching children without help, or operating heavy machinery.
Tylenol and melatonin are generally safe in children. However, a fever or pain in a newborn can be a sign of a serious, or even life-threatening, medical condition. Parents should never give a baby younger than 12 weeks old Tylenol or any other drug without consulting a doctor.
Parents should also not give melatonin to children under the age of 3. This is because sleep irregularities are common in this age. Schedule and behavioral changes work better, and melatonin has not been thoroughly tested in babies and young children.
Parents who want to try the two drugs in older children should know that Tylenol dosing is based on weight, not age. So weigh your child, then give the right dose. Never exceed the recommended dose, or give more in a 24 hour period than the label recommends.
In general, the appropriate dosage of melatonin for children is as follows:
0.5 to 1 mg in toddlers
2.5 to 3mg in school-aged children
5 mg in adolescents
Start with half the recommended dosage, then increase it up to the maximum as needed.
Tylenol and Liver Health
Taking too much Tylenol can cause severe liver damage, and even death. While many people double the dosage of other drugs without consequence, doing so with Tylenol can kill you.
The liver helps the body filter other drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medications and alcohol. This means that, if you damage your liver by taking too much Tylenol, the risk of side effects associated with other drugs also increases. Talk to a doctor before taking Tylenol, or avoid the drug altogether, if:
You have or think you might have liver disease.
You have a history of alcoholism, regularly binge drink, or drink every day.
You have or think you might have gallstones.
Reduce the risk of using Tylenol by:
Never taking more than the recommended dosage. The maximum you can take in 24 hours is often less than you would take by following the dosing schedule. So err on the side of caution and take less than the recommended 24 hour dosage.
Do not take multiple products containing acetaminophen at once. Some prescription painkillers have acetaminophen in them.
Don’t drink alcohol while using Tylenol or taking melatonin.
Pain and sleep difficulties often co-occur. Don’t despair. You can get a pain-free and restful night’s sleep by combining Tylenol and melatonin. But if your symptoms continue, talk to a doctor about next steps.