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A 39-year-old female asked:

Is it abuse to give a child melatonine when not precribed by his doctor my son has no history of adhd , sleeping disorder or anything like that. his father hasbeen giving sleeping medicine for 2 years every night before he goes to sleep child protective s

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Hello. : Hello. I can't give legal advice about this. From a medical standpoint, melatonin is a herbal supplement that is used to aid with sleep. It is not considered a medication in the us and thus is not prescribed. If the child falls asleep easily at a reasonable bedtime it likely would not be necessary. However, if your son needs some help getting to sleep if may be helpful. One does not need to have a diagnosed sleep disorder to use melatonin.
Dr. Oscar Novick
Pediatrics 59 years experience
Long term effects?: Tell your husband that while melatonin may help his baby sleep we don't know the long term effects the drug will have on his child.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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