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Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets

Circadin (Melatonin) 2mg Tablets

Pack Size: 10 modified-release tablets
Our Price: £19.99
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Age: 18 years +

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.

Pharmacist Tip

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

Circadin (melatonin) 2mg tablets are available from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to help ease jet lag in those travelling over three or more time zones. To find out more about jet lag, see our Online Doctor Jet Lag page.

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

Melatonin is normally used to treat insomnia in patients over the age of 55, however it can also be prescribed for short-term use in patients who are travelling across numerous times zones to treat jet lag. Circadin should be taken at bedtime in your new time zone on the day of arrival. It should then be continued for 2 – 5 nights depending on response and persistence of jet lag. You will not feel a sudden drowsiness with melatonin; it should produce a more natural sleepiness that develops over 1 -2 hours after taking it.

You normally only suffer with jet lag if you travel across three or more time zones and you should not need to take melatonin. Jet lag can be particularly bad when travelling East, this may mean it is worse on returning from your journey. Always plan for melatonin treatment on the return home as well as on arrival at your destination. Normally around 3 nights treatment on arrival and when you return home is enough to help you adjust to your new time zone.

Unlike some other ‘sleep’ medicines, Circadin (melatonin) does not tend to cause any residual tiredness or grogginess in the morning, know as a ‘hangover effect’. This is because it does not depress your central nervous system like other hypnotic drugs and sleeping tablets. It is not advisable to use traditional sleeping medicines to treat jet lag due to the artificial sleep they induce, which can make jet lag worse.

You should not chew or crush Circadin tablets. They are prolonged release formulations that need to be swallowed whole to be effective. The prolonged release profile of Circadin tablets ensures they release melatonin throughout the night, mimicking the body’s natural pattern to produce good quality sleep. 

  • You should take one Circadin tablet at night, roughly 1-2 hours before going to bed and after food, usually for two to four nights on arrival in the new time zone (dependent on the number of time zones you have crossed).
  • Melatonin should only be taken if the time difference is three or more hours different from the UK.
  • If you miss a dose, do not take it the next morning or double up. Continue taking your treatment the next night as usual if it is still needed.

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.


Each Circadin 2mg prolonged release tablet contains melatonin 2mg.

Each tablet also contains: ammonio methacrylate copolymer type B, calcium hydrogen phosphate, dihydrate, lactose monohydrate, silica (colloidal anhydrous), talc and magnesium stearate. 

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 0117 971 1603. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.

Circadin should not cause a harmful interaction with any of your other current medicines. Melatonin should not be taken if you currently take benzodiazepinescarbamazepine, cimetidine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, methoxypsoralen, rifampicin, thioridazine, zapelon, zolpidem, and zopiclone. This will also be checked during your online consultation. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for further information.

Melatonin causes drowsiness. You should not drive or operate machinery whilst you experience these effects. 

Circadin is not 100% effective at preventing jet lag however it has been show to help with the symptoms of jet lag, particularly where there is a large change in time zones and if the traveller has flown east.  

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All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail. Tracking is available on all orders. We always aim to dispatch all orders within 24 hours of them being received, if we are unable to meet this high standard for whatever reason we will always contact you to advise you of the delay.

We offer free UK standard delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Delivery - 2/3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Delivery - 1/2 day delivery - £4.45
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 1pm) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 1pm - £10.45

The cut-off for same day dispatch of orders is 4pm. Orders processed after this time will be dispatched the following working day. Orders are dispatched Monday - Friday. Orders will not be processed on weekends or bank holidays.

We ensure all deliveries are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods.

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

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.

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


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

Circadin Frequently Asked Question FAQ's


What are Circadin tablets?

What is melatonin?

How do I take Circadin tablets to prevent jet lag?

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

When is the best time to take Circadin?

Can you take alcohol and Circadin together?

Does Circadin contain gluten?

Is Circadin suitable for vegetarians?

Does Circadin interact with other medication?

What to do if you miss a dose of Circadin?

How often can you use Circadin?

Are there any side effects with Circadin?



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 timezones.

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.

The Independent Pharmacy is an online pharmacy and online doctor service is owned and operated by ABSM Healthcare Ltd (Company Reg. 08515600) and Red Label Medical Ltd (Company Reg. 08676338). All information that appears on this website is intended for information purposes only and should be used to supplement, not replace, your relationship with your local healthcare professionals. You should consult your doctor if you think you may have a health problem or before you start taking a new medicine. Please ensure you always read the information leaflets supplied with any medicinal products.For more information see our policies and terms and conditions at the bottom of every page. © 2014 ABSM Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved.
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