Last update May 6, 2022
Hormone secreted by Pineal gland which exerts its function by regulating the Circadian pattern of sleeping. It is naturally found in the mother's milk. (Cohen 2012)
Melatonin has a circadian rhythm. The level of Melatonin in the plasma and breast milk, nearly undetectable during the day, increases by night (Gombert 2021,Italianer 2020, Katzer 2016, Cohen 2012, Illnerová 1993). It is believed that this helps to organize the sleep - awake cycle in breastfed newborns and infants. (Sánchez 2011). The older the mother, the less melatonin is in breast milk (Gila 2020). Melatonin levels are maintained in frozen breast milk. (Molad 2019)
It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Gombert 2021,Tan 2014), and, it is found in many foods, either vegetable or animal in origin (meat, fish), eggs, wine and beer. (Tan 2014)
On latest update, no relevant published data related to breastfeeding were found.
Known side-effects of melatonin are mild and few (Andersen 2016). It is being used for co-treatment of several conditions in chidren, newborn infants and prematures (Gitto 2013, Merchant 2013, Sánchez 2011) with good tolerance in spite of higher doses than those excreted in the breast milk.
Its very low oral bioavailability (EMA 2012, Fourtillan 2000, DeMuro 2000) minimizes the passage into plasma of the infant from ingested breast milk, except in the premature and in the immediate neonatal period in which there may be greater intestinal permeability.
Expert authors consider the use of this medication possible during breastfeeding. (Hale, LactMed, Vine 2021)
We do not have alternatives for N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Pro Lactancia Materna (APROLAM) of Mexico
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM