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Circadin is a tablet medicine used to treat primary insomnia in people over 55. It works by supplementing the levels of sleep hormones in the body.

It isn’t always easy getting the prescription treatment you need in person, but our express service can help you. Our doctors work online and carefully assess each case, and approved orders are dispensed at our UK pharmacy.

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Circadin contains 2mg per tablet of the active ingredient, melatonin. Tablets are taken as prescribed, which may be once daily, one to two hours before going to bed.

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Circadin is a tablet medicine used to treat primary insomnia in people over 55. It works by supplementing the levels of sleep hormones in the body.

It isn’t always easy getting the prescription treatment you need in person, but our express service can help you. Our doctors work online and carefully assess each case, and approved orders are dispensed at our UK pharmacy.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

14 March 2021
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 14 March 2021
Product information

Circadin is a medicine made by Lundbeck, and is indicated for primary insomnia in people aged 55 and over. It relieves symptoms by providing the body with more of the hormone which it requires to help it sleep. Please note that it is not licensed to treat insomnia in persons under this age, or who are suffering from secondary insomnia.

(When it is prescribed for any other purpose other than the treatment of insomnia in over-55s, it is done so off-label.)

  1. Easy to take tablet
  2. Only suitable for over 55s
  3. Efficient relief for primary insomnia

There are many reasons why someone might struggle to sleep. Everyone experiences trouble getting to sleep sometimes, but those cases which are persistent are referred to as insomnia. Sometimes, a person might not be able to sleep because they are going through a period of stress, living with an undiagnosed illness, or maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle.

Insomnia caused by these factors (or secondary insomnia) is usually treated by addressing the source of the problem, for instance: making alterations to an unhealthy diet; visiting the doctor to get treatment for conditions which might be inhibiting sleep, such as arthritis or urinary incontinence; or taking measures to reduce feelings of anxiety.

However, primary insomnia is different. This is defined as the inability to sleep when there is a lack of any other psychological, medical, environmental or dietary cause. It occurs more often in older people, and is due to the slowed production of a hormone which the body needs to help it sleep.

Melatonin is the name of this hormone, which is released by the pineal gland. Levels of the hormone rise after dark at nighttime, and most typically begin to decrease around 4am. It is melatonin which is responsible for letting the brain know that it is time to sleep, and for the body to begin shutting down for the day.

In older people, the ability to produce this hormone can become weakened, making it harder for people to sleep or get a sufficient amount required for normal function.

Circadin contains an artificial version of this hormone, and works by increasing the presence of melatonin in the body. This aids a peaceful night’s rest and can reduce the time it takes for the user to get to sleep.

Circadin for jet lag

Some researchers have suggested that Circadin can be useful in helping to alleviate the symptoms of jet lag. However, the treatment isn’t licensed for this purpose in the UK. Doctors can prescribe Circadin for jet lag, but this is an ‘off-label’ use. Read our page on off-label prescribing to find out more about what this means.

There are several self-help measures you can also take to limit the effects of jet lag. You can read more on this in our post on treating jet lag with medication.

How to buy Circadin online

Buying medication online doesn’t have to be difficult. Our safe and secure service allows you to get the prescription you need without the hassle of making an appointment. It takes just a few minutes to complete our questionnaire. Your answers will be reviewed by a doctor, and once your treatment has been approved, our UK-based pharmacy will prepare it right away and ship it your door. Our next-day service means that you’ll able to start using your medication the following working day.

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Page last reviewed:  14/03/2021


Follow the instructions provided in the leaflet, and always adhere to the directions issued by your prescribing physician. This is important in ensuring you get the best possible results out of your medication, and in limiting the risk of side effects.

  1. Take the treatment as prescribed.
  2. This is typically one tablet taken after food, one to two hours before bedtime.
  3. Circadin can be taken for up to thirteen weeks.
  4. Repeat consultation may be necessary if symptoms have not improved after 21 days of continuous use.
  5. Swallow tablets whole.
  6. Never exceed the prescribed dose.
  7. If you forget to take your pill, do not compensate with a double dose. Carry on taking your tablets as normal.

For off-label use in jet lag:

  1. It’s important you know what off-label use means if you are taking this medicine for jet lag.
  2. If you’re going to take Circadin for jet lag, take it 30-60 minutes before going to bed.
  3. If you’re travelling Eastwards you can do this during your flight and take it prior to the bedtime at your destination.
  4. It isn’t usually necessary to take any treatment for jet lag when travelling Westwards.
  5. Taking a dose as small as 0.5mg is often enough to alleviate daytime symptoms of jet lag, whilst a higher dose of 2mg is more likely to help you actually get to sleep.
  6. You should not take Circadin with any other sleeping tablets or sedatives such as Valium, Xanax.

Read the instructions provided with the medicine fully prior to use. If you have any further questions, ask your doctor.

Page last reviewed:  14/03/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Circadin 2mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

It is essential to be aware of the side effects this product may cause so that you can seek medical advice right away if they begin to occur.

Let your doctor know immediately if you experience any of the following: chest pain; fainting; signs of an allergic reaction; feeling your heartbeat; depression; blurred vision; vertigo; passing blood in the urine; or psoriasis.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Irritability, nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, migraine, headache, increased blood pressure, lethargy, dizziness, abdominal pain, indigestion, dry mouth, jaundice, inflammation, night sweats, or itching.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):

Shingles, high cholesterol, mood swings, loss of memory, restless legs syndrome, pins and needles, watery eyes, dizziness, flushing, acid reflux, stomach upset, eczema, arthritis, or muscle spasms.


Taking it with other medicines

Tell your prescriber if you are using any other medications during consultation, as these may inhibit your ability to use this treatment safely. Circadin may interact with the following: cimetidine, quinolones, rifampicin, oestrogens, carbamazepine, adrenergic agonists or antagonists, opiate agonists or antagonists, fluvoxamine, psoralens, prostaglandin inhibitors, antidepressants, tryptophan, alcohol, benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, thioridazine or imipramine.

Conditions to look out for

Inform your doctor of your medical history before using this product.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Circadin should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, speak to your GP for advice.

Driving and using machinery

This treatment may cause dizziness. If you experience this or any similar side effects, do not drive or use machines, and see your GP.

Food, drink and alcohol

This medication should be taken after food.

Do not consume alcohol when using this product, as it may inhibit its effectiveness.

Page last reviewed:  14/03/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Circadin 2mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

The consumption of alcohol may reduce the efficacy of this drug, so is therefore not recommended before, during or after use.

Will I still be able to drive?

Circadin may cause drowsiness, which could make driving unsafe. We would therefore advise that you do not drive after taking it.

Can I use this medicine while pregnant?

It is not suitable for persons who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How do I store it?

Keep it in a safe place below 25°C, away from sources of moisture and light.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Contained in this product are the following ingredients: melatonin, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, ammonio methacrylate copolymer type B, lactose monohydrate, silica (colloidal anhydrous), talc and magnesium stearate.

Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these components.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You can only buy Circadin in the UK after prior consultation with a doctor. Our confidential service enables a doctor to review your case and issue you with a prescription.

How can I get Circadin online?

To order Circadin from our UK pharmacy, click below to proceed to our consultation and take our medical questionnaire. All orders are reviewed by a qualified physician, and once approved, dispensed by a UK-based pharmacy. Delivery on all items are made by 24 hour shipping, so you can expect to receive your medication the next working day.

Page last reviewed:  14/03/2021 is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 3256 customers on TrustPilot!
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