Safety concerns over "staggering" number of melatonin prescriptions

GPs and paediatricians are the biggest prescribers of a “staggering” amount of melatonin dispensed by compounding pharmacies, with more than 60% going to children with ADHD or autism to help them sleep.

In a letter to the Medical Journal of Australia, researchers detailed results of an audit of members of Professional Compounding Chemists of Australia (PCCA), finding 1463 melatonin prescriptions were dispensed by 83 pharmacies in a two week period.

The median age of patients was 12 years but one in 10 scripts was for a child aged under five years and 1.4% were for babies aged zero to two years.