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Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets

Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets (10 modified-release tablets)

Sorry, this treatment is currently out of stock.

Circadin is currently under review. We stock another melatonin product which is available for dispatch the same day if ordered before 3pm.

Click here to order: melatonin


Description for Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets

Circadin 2mg tablets contain the active ingredient melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps to control the body clock and acts at chemical receptors in the brain to promote sleep. When taken correctly it can help you to adjust your body clock and sleep at the correct time when you have travelled across times zones.

Circadin Information

  • Age: 18 years +

    Maximum per order: 3

  • Pregnancy: N/A

    Breastfeeding: N/A

What is Circadin?

Circadin (melatonin) 2mg tablets ease symptoms of jet lag in people travelling over three or more time zones. To learn more about jet lag, visit our Online Doctor jet Lag page. Circadin 2mg tables are available from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation.

Circadin 2mg tablets contain the active ingredient melatonin, a hormone that the body releases when it is dark, letting your body know it is time for sleep. Melatonin helps to regulate the body’s clock (circadian rhythm) and acts on chemical receptors in the brain to promote sleep. Melatonin in Circadin 2mg tablets will help alter your normal circadian rhythm, allowing you to sleep when it is dark in your new time zone and ease the symptoms of jet lag.

Melatonin is prescribed to treat insomnia in patients over the age of 55, however it can also be prescribed 'off-label' for short-term use in patients who are travelling across numerous times zones to treat jet lag.

Click here to read studies on the effectiveness of Circadin in treating Jet Lag 'off label'. 'Off label' means that the medicine is being used to treat a condition other than those that it was initially licensed to treat. For example, Circadin has been licensed to treat insomnia but can also be used 'off-label' to relieve jet lag. This means that there is less established data regarding the effectiveness of this treatment for the condition which it is prescribed and means that the instructions contained in the product information leaflet will not match the condition you are treating. You should always follow the instructions on the dispensing label on your medicine and contact us if you have any questions.

Take Circadin at bedtime in your new time zone on the day of arrival. Continue taking it for 2 – 5 nights depending on your response to the medication and the persistence of jet lag. You will not develop sudden drowsiness with melatonin; it will produce a more natural sleepiness 1 -2 hours after you take it.

Jet lag usually only occurs if you travel across three or more time zones, otherwise you should not need to take melatonin. Jet lag can be particularly bad when travelling east. Plan for melatonin treatment on your return home in addition to arrival at your destination. 3 nights’ treatment upon arrival and return home is should be enough to help you adjust to your new time zones.

Unlike some other ‘sleep’ medications, Circadin does not result in tiredness or grogginess in the morning. This is because it does not depress your central nervous system like other hypnotic drugs and sleeping tablets. For this reason, it is not advisable to use traditional sleeping medicines to treat jet lag.

Do not chew or crush Circadin tablets. They need to be swallowed whole to activate their prolonged release formulations. This ensures that they release melatonin slowly throughout the night, mimicking the body’s natural sleep pattern. 

Circadin prolonged-release melatonin 2mg, is an innovative sleep medication, first in a new class of drugs: melatonin receptor agonists. Circadin® is available by prescription only, and is approved for primary insomnia treatment worldwide.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body at night. It acts as a signal to the internal biological clock in our brain, allowing the adjustment of functions such as sleep, blood pressure and certain hormones during sleep. Melatonin production is inhibited by light and diminishes with age and in some medical conditions.

Benefits of Circadin
Decreases time to fall asleep
Improves sleep quality
Improves daytime functioning
No evidence of rebound insomnia, dependence or withdrawal effects

It is also important to get the correct vaccinations and malaria tablets for your trip, if required, before you travel. Anti-malarial tablets are available from our Online Doctor. Vaccinations should be administered around 6 weeks before you leave. 

Alternative methods to treat Jet Lag

When you arrive at your destination you should;

  • Avoid napping.
  • Try to sleep at a normal hour in your new time zone
  • Try to stay outdoors as much as possible, natural light will help speed up the process.
  • Try to eat at normal hours for your new time zone and not the one you're used to at home. 
*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

Circadin directions

Take Circadin after food, 1-2 hours before bedtime for two to four nights on arrival in the new time zone.

Swallow the tablet whole – do not chew, crush or divide it as doing so will interfere with the prolonged release properties.

Circadin should not make you suddenly drowsy – you should feel a natural sleepiness between 1-2 hours after taking it.

Do not consume alcohol with Circadin, as it has a bad effect on sleep maintenance

You may also find the following advice useful to help prevent jet lag:

  • Top up on sleep before you go. Make sure you’re fully rested before you leave, tiredness can make jet lag worse.
  • Slowly change your sleep routine before you leave. Try adjusting your sleep routine a few days before you travel. If you’re travelling east go to bed slightly earlier than normal and try to stay up slightly later if you’re going west.
  • Take an overnight flight if possible. Sleeping overnight on the plane will let you wake up in the morning when you land. It is important to try to stay up until night time once you reach your new destination.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make jet lag worse so drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol if possible.
  • Go outdoors when you arrive. Exposure or daylight and darkness is one of the most crucial factors in setting your body clock. If you expose yourself to natural light at your destination it will help to speed up the change in your body clock.

Circadin side effects

If you do experience side effects from Circadin (Melatonin) they may include headache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhoea, and stomach or back pain. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.

If you experience any adverse effects from taking Circadin it is important to let us know immediately. Please log in to your online account and message one of our healthcare professionals or alternatively call us on 0333 22 00 519. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.

Circadin ingredients

Active ingredients:

Melatonin. Each prolonged-release tablet contains 2mg melatonin.

Inactive ingredients:

Ammonio methacrylate copolymer type B, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, silica (colloidal anhydrous), lactose monohydrate, talc and magnesium stearate.

Circadin warnings

Read the following warnings carefully to ensure you select an appropriate product.

Do not take Circadin

  • If you have allergies to melatonin or any of the other ingredients.

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Circadin:

  • If you suffer from liver or kidney problems. Studies on the use of Circadin in people with liver or kidney diseases have not been performed. Speak to your doctor before taking Circadin.
  • If you have an intolerance to some sugars.
  • If you suffer from an autoimmune disease. No studies on the use of Circadin in people with auto-immune diseases have been performed; therefore, you should speak to your doctor before taking Circadin.
  • Circadin can cause drowsiness and it may impair your ability to drive.
  • Smoking may decrease Circadin’s effectiveness because the components of tobacco smoke can increase the liver’s breakdown of melatonin.

Children and adolescents

Do not give this medicine to children under 18 as it has not been tested and its effects are unknown.

Other medicines and Circadin

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medications.

These medicines include:

  • Fluvoxamine (for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder),

psoralens (for skin disorders e.g. psoriasis),

cimetidine (for stomach problems such as ulcers), quinolones and rifampicin (for bacterial infections),

oestrogens (used in contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy) and carbamazepine (for epilepsy).

  • Adrenergic agonists/antagonists (to control blood pressure), opiate agonists/antagonists (for the treatment of drug addiction), prostaglandin inhibitors (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines), antidepressant medication, tryptophan and alcohol.
  • Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (for inducing sleep)
  • Thioridazine (for schizophrenia) and imipramine (for depression).

Circadin with food, drink and alcohol

Take Circadin after you have eaten.

Do not drink alcohol while taking Circadin, because it reduces the medication’s effectiveness.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Do not take Circadin if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.

Driving and using machines

Circadin may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery if this affects you. If your drowsiness continues, consult your doctor.

Circadin contains lactose monohydrate

Circadin contains lactose monohydrate. If you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this product.

Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you take or intend to take.

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays. This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 15:00 are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 2 - 3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 2 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 21:00) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 21:00 - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail & DPD orders received before 15:00 the same working day. Any orders received after 15:00 or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email, in your online account and from any notifications from your courier.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail


  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • Four-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with Royal Mail
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local Post Office or Royal Mail Customer Service Point.

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.




  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • One-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with DPD
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local collection point.

DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 17:30 the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 17:30 to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 17:30 to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Jet Lag?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Circadin tablets?

    Circadin tablets contain melatonin 2mg as the active ingredient in a modified-release form. It is prescribed to treat jet lag for people who are travelling across three or more time zones.

    Modified-release means the active ingredient is released from the tablet slowly over time. This is usually between 8-10 hours and mimics your own natural melatonin release and helps to promote sleep. It is important to swallow the tablets whole with water and not to chew or halve the tablets. Splitting or chewing the tablets will destroy the prolonged release formulation and make them less effective.

  • What is Melatonin?

    Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, which is released from the pineal gland to help you sleep. The release of melatonin is dependent on darkness and is your body's natural way of promoting sleep at night time. It can be attributed to us feeling a little sluggish in the winter when the days are shorter.

    Melatonin release also usually occurs in a regular (circadian) rhythm, hence why you start to get tired at a similar time each evening.


  • How do I take Circadin tablets to prevent Jet Lag

    When you arrive at your new destination, take one tablet at bedtime. The number of days treatment is the number of times zones divided by 2, then add one extra day. For example if you have crossed 4 times zones, you would need divide four by two (equalling two), and then add an extra one. Therefore you would need treatment for three days. 

    This is a rough guide, some people may find that they need treatment for a day more or less depending on their normal sleeping habits and how well they adapt to their new environment.

    Swallow the tablets whole and do not crush, chew or split them in half.

  • What’s the difference between Circadin tablets and Melatonin tablets you can buy in health food shop

    Circadin tablets have a special prolonged release formulation that delivers the melatonin dose over 8-10 hours. The melatonin you can buy in health food shops is released immediately in to the system in one go. This immediate release of large doses of melatonin does not mimic your body's normal hormone levels and is less likely to be effective and may be more likely to produce side effects.

    Circadin is a medicine and has a product license. This means that it has undergone testing and is subject to standards set by the MHRA (Medicines Health Regulatory Authority) in the UK. As such it is mandatory to have a batch number and expiry date and be subject to strict manufacturing regulation. An audit trail from manufacture to consumption is traceable and thus ensures it contains what it states. Health foods are not subject this strict regulation.

  • When is the best time to take Circadin?

    The medication is best taken an hour or two before bedtime starting on the first day in your new destination and at the same time each day.

    It will make you feel drowsy but not dizzy or sedated like traditional sleeping tablets.

  • Can you take alcohol and Circadin together?

    Although the effects of alcohol and Circadin have not been studied, the manufacturer advises to avoid the combination. Alcohol disrupts your normal sleeping pattern and will counteract the aim of the Ciracdin to establish a new sleeping pattern in your destination.

  • Does Circadin contain Gluten?

    Circadin does not contain gluten and can be taken by coeliacs.

  • Is Circadin suitable for vegetarians?

    Yes, Circadin does not contain any animal products and is suitable for vegetarians.

  • What to do if you miss a dose of Circadin?

    Take it as soon as you remember. It is not advisable to double the dose or take more than one tablet per day.

  • How often can you use Circadin?

    Circadin can be taken when you need it and is not habit forming. You need to take it continuously for it to have an effect.

  • Are there any side effects with Circadin?

    As with any medicine there is the potential or side effects. Circadin is well tolerated and side effects are mild as it is usually well tolerated.

    If you were to experience side effects these are likely to be headache, back pain and increased sex drive.

  •  How does Circadin help me sleep?

    Melatonin is a hormone released from the brain’s pineal gland during the night and facilitates night time drowsiness and the ability to maintain sleep. Individual levels of melatonin may vary, but it has been found that people suffering from insomnia often have lower melatonin levels than people without insomnia. Melatonin therapy can improve the symptoms of insomnia.

    Circadin is prolonged-release melatonin, which adds synthetic melatonin to the naturally occurring melatonin throughout the night. This facilitates the feeling of sleepiness.

  • How does Circadin work?

    Circadin tablets contain the active ingredient melatonin, a hormone that is produced by the brain’s pineal gland when night begins to fall. The production of melatonin then increases until about two to four a.m. and then decreases. The hormone acts on melatonin receptors in the brain and is linked to the control of circadian rhythms and sleep.
    The natural release of melatonin starts to decrease as we age and can cause sleep difficulties. For people 55 and over, taking this medication before bed may ease the symptoms of primary insomnia. Primary insomnia sufferers have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or poor sleep quality for at least one month.
    The melatonin in Circadin works in the same way as natural melatonin, by acting on the melatonin receptors in the brain. It reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves sleep quality and morning alertness in primary insomnia sufferers over 55.
    Take one Circadin tablet after food, one or two hours before bedtime, for up to 13 weeks.

  • For how long should I take Circadin?

    If you are using Circadin only to fight jet lag, take it for 2 to 5 days. You can stop using Circadin at any time.
    Jet lag affects most long-distance travellers and can cause various sleep-related problems. Circadin naturally changes your internal body clock and eases symptoms of jet lag.

  • What are the benefits of Circadin?

    Though it is only temporary, jet lag is a particularly annoying condition because it can spoil the beginning of a holiday or trip and disrupt sleeping when you return. The symptoms, such as lack of energy and tiredness, can take days to fade. Circadin can help you to avoid such symptoms, leaving you better able to enjoy your travelling experience.
    Melatonin adjusts sleep patterns more naturally than is achieved through sleeping pills, which have risks such as addiction and side effects.
    In clinical trials, 32% of patients reported large improvements in sleep quality compared to a placebo.

  • What dosages are available with Circadin?

    Circadin comes in a standard, 2mg dosage. It is a prolonged release tablet, which means the tablet releases medication slowly after you’ve taken it.

  • What is jet lag?

    Jet lag occurs when you fly through different time zones and your body struggles to adjust, leaving you feeling tired and confused. It becomes more serious the more time zones you cross. Jet lag upsets your sleeping pattern and makes you feel tired.

  • What is the so called “body clock”?

    The body clock is your body’s response to sunlight during the day and lack of it at night. Darkness at night causes the body to generate a natural hormone called melatonin. Melatonin regulates your internal clock, helping you rest and get ready for sleep. Daylight prevents the production of melatonin so you are more active and energetic.

  • How does jet lag actually occur?

    If you travel to a different time zone, it disturbs the cycle of when melatonin is produced in your body. The production and inhibition of melatonin affects sleeping patterns. This is where melatonin tablets can help.

Authored By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan


Published on: 02-02-2017

Last modified on: 26-02-2021

Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

Reviewed By:

A photo of Dr Donald Grant

Dr Donald Grant

MB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.med

Reviewed on: 26-02-2021

Next review date: 26-02-2023

Dr Don Grant is a GP with over 30 years experience and is the Clinical Advisor at The Independent Pharmacy

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