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What is Circadin Used For?

Circadin is a medicinal product that contains the active substance melatonin. It is widely used for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia, specifically in patients aged 55 years or over. This article explores the uses, benefits, risks, and other essential information about Circadin.

What is Circadin's Therapeutic Indication?

Circadin is indicated as monotherapy for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia characterized by poor quality of sleep in patients who are aged 55 or over. 'Primary' means that the insomnia does not have any identified cause, including any medical, mental, or environmental cause.

How is Circadin Used?

The recommended dose of Circadin is one tablet a day, taken one to two hours before bedtime and after food. This dose can be continued for up to 13 weeks. The tablets are prolonged-release, meaning that melatonin is released slowly over a few hours, mimicking the natural production of melatonin in the body.

What Benefits Has Circadin's Use Shown During Studies?

Circadin has been found to be more effective than placebo at improving the quality of sleep and the patients' ability to function normally the following day. In studies, 32% of patients taking Circadin reported a significant improvement in symptoms after three weeks, compared to 19% of those taking placebo. The effects were observed for at least 13 weeks.

What are the Risks Associated with Circadin?

The risks of Circadin include common side effects and specific considerations like drowsiness and alcohol consumption. Below, we detail these side effects for a better understanding of potential reactions to this medication.

Common Side Effects

Circadin can cause drowsiness, so it should be used with caution if this could pose a risk to safety, including in people who need to drive or use machines. Patients should avoid alcohol before, during, and after taking Circadin.

Why Has Circadin Been Approved for Use?

The European Commission granted a marketing authorization for Circadin on 29 June 2007. Although Circadin has only been shown to have a small effect in a relatively small number of patients, its benefits are considered greater than its risks.


In summary, Circadin is specifically used for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia in patients aged 55 years or over. Circadin works by mimicking the natural production of melatonin in the body, helping to improve sleep quality. The treatment is administered as a prolonged-release tablet taken one to two hours before bedtime and has been approved by the European Commission due to its benefits outweighing the risks.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Sources, 2021. Summary of Product Characteristics., 2021. Patient Information Leaflet., 2021. Circadin.

European Medicines Agency, 2021. Circadin EPAR Product Information.

Additional Resources

How Long Does Circadin Last?

How to Improve your Sleep?

How Does Circadin Help with Jet Lag?

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 21/08/2023 Reviewed on: 01/11/2023
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