A Research Letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raises alarms about administering melatonin gummies to children. Between 2012 and 2021, reports to U.S. poison control centers regarding pediatric melatonin ingestions surged 530% and were linked with 27,795 emergency department and clinic visits, 4,097 hospitalizations, 287 intensive care admissions, and tragically, 2 fatalities. Investigation into melatonin products’ labels revealed widespread inaccuracies relating to the presence of both melatonin and cannabidiol (CBD).
An examination of 25 melatonin gummy products obtained from the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Supplement Label Database revealed that a staggering 88 percent of these products had inaccurate labels, ranging from one product containing no melatonin to the others containing anywhere from 74 percent to 347 percent of the stated amount. Among the five products containing CBD, the measured CBD amounts varied from 104 percent to 118 percent of the labeled quantity.
This is extremely concerning as administering melatonin gummies to children can expose them to enormously high amounts of melatonin and CBD. Combining melatonin and CBD can lead to potential moderate interactions, intensifying effects like dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. These products often claim to aid in sleep, stress, and relaxation, making it imperative to inform parents and caregivers that despite product claims, neither melatonin nor CBD has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in healthy children.