Melatonin does anyone take this supplement???

As an ex night shift worker (5 years 37 hours a week over 3 nights) I was horrified to learn about the possible effects of low levels of the hormone Melatonin, you can buy it at Holland and Barratt, I asked my onc’s registrar about taking this supplement and she told me because it was a hormone she didn’t want me to take it. I have just found this article please see this link

I am thinking about taking this supplement because I’m at stage IV with secondaries to both lungs and figure I haven’t got a lot too loose by taking it, I’m already on a concoction of drugs herceptin for life, tamoxifen and clonidine until either stops working or the SE get so bad that my quality of life is seriously jeopardized, so like I said I figure what the hell, anythings worth a go. Please don’t judge me for going against my oncs registrar advice, I’ve listened to everything they have to say and gone along with the conventional therapies but feel on this subject I must differ and go with my own hunches, all my instincts are telling me there is something in this and I’m not going to ignore them. As with all this alternative/complementary stuff its a personal decision, was just wondering if anyone else on here is taking this supplement and what your thoughts are on this subject?

Thanks for reading
sarahlousie xx

Hi Sarah
It’s interesting to hear that you can buy this in Holland and Barratt, I thought it wasn’t available over the counter in the UK.
I take a small dose (3mg per day) I get it posted to me by a very good friend who lives in Canada. She tells me that it is a commonly used supplement for women with breast cancer out there.
I was also advised against it by my oncologist but I have found that they tend to go down the ‘if in doubt, say no’ route. I have huge confidence in my onc when it comes to the conventional stuff but he doesn’t know all that much about the complementary side of things. I have been seeing him for 9 years now (3years with stage IV) so I am comfortable enough to tell him when I am going against his advice. I started taking melatonin about 2 years ago and although I can’t in all honesty say that it has caused a great improvement in my condition, it certainly doesn’t seem to have done any harm. My onc tells me that I have responded well to all his treatments and I suppose that’s all I can ask. I did speak to a complementary practitioner who suggested that a much higher dose (10-20mg per day) would be appropriate but my gut feeling was that a small dose in the evening that makes me sleep like a log was enough

Hi Sarah Louise and Tillycat,I take 3mg of Melatonin nightly and have done so for many years both pre and post DX.During Chemo my Oncologist gave his blessing to the use of this hormone for sleep.I get my supplies from,having bought my first supplies from Canada.

Great- thanks for this, my friend has refused to take any money for the tablets so now I can send her a big thank you card and tell her I have found a uk supplier, I’m pretty sure she will be thrilled as I know they are on a tight budget.

Hi ladies,

Thanks for responding to my post, I was so sure I had seen it for sale in Holland and Barratt!!! Must be the foggy brain I have now after chemo lol. I also go on the american breast cancer website and forum and quite a lot of the ladies on there take this supplement.

Thanks for the link Sivam will look into this further, just googled melatonin and where to buy in the uk I found this site for information and this one as well as the site you mentioned sivam

Thanks again for responding and for the contact request Tillycat

The melatonin-info website is really interesting. On the link for uses it suggests a dose of 15-50mg for cancer (I think). It also says the most common dose for cancer is usually 20mg per night - maybe I should consider upping my dose after all.

Hi, think you have to be very careful with the dosage as melatomin taken in high doses can have bad side effects. here’s a link to the University of Maryland Medical Centre.scroll down to precautions and possible interactions.

best wishes Melxx

I’ve just read Rainbow Diet and How It Can Help You Beat Cancer and he says that he knows of Two BC (UK) onc that take melatonin regularly. The book recommends it. I’ve been taking it for years and buy it in the US.
Take care Xxx

I don’t think you can get it over the counter - I’ve been taking it for years and ordered it online. My cancer was highly hormone-receptive, and I put Melatonin on the list of things I sometimes take when I began chemo, and no-one batted a lid one way or the other. I’ve not thought to take it regularly as a benefit to cancer, just to help sleep (which it didn’t help much with during chemo, I have to say!!!)
I’ve sent the article to my lovely BCN to ask for her opinion…

Interesting thread!

Hi ladies,

I am quite interested in the Melantonin thingy but, having suffered from a strong hormone positive cancer I am not sure I should take this suplements. I don’t remember if it was on the Sloan Kattering web page or where, I read that it wasn’t recomended when the bc was hormone positive.

Hi Happynipple,
I presume you’ve read all the posts on this thread I’m afraid its down to your own personal choice or your intuition as too whether or not you choose to take this supplement or not, I am still looking into it (although I have to admit I’ve been side tracked recently) like I said in my initial post my oncs registrar was not happy about me taking it but then I don’t think she really knew what It was, she just said as its a hormone I would not advise taking it, she didn’t mention any connection to being hormone positive and taking it, I am ER+ although only weakly at 4/8 but still positive. I will be seeing my onc on the 10th of August and will add the melatonin question to the already long list of things too ask about, I sure they dread me coming in with a list as long as your arm lol. Any way if you find out any further information about it please can you post on this thread it helps if we are all adding to the information bank, especially on this subject.
Many thanks
sarah xxx

Just been reading how light at night which causes low melatonin can stop tamoxifen from working. They have researched this in rats. I worked shifts for 10 years and have always slept with a night light. Now think this may have contributed to my BC. Also tamoxifen did not work for me. Was on it only 2 and a half years when I had secondaries in my lungs. I am going to ask my oncologist about this as I am wondering if I could take tamoxifen again in the future. I now sleep with an eye mask to keep out any light. Even very low levels of light can be problematic.


So sorry you are not getting answers you want from your oncologist.  I do take melatonin on the advice of my naturopath as well as Vitamin D drops and a few other things but she feels those 2 are very important re;hormone regulation.  You should see a naturopathic oncologist if you can for appropriate doses for you.

Best, Mel