We are sometime asked to prescribe sedative drugs, such as Zopiclone, or Melatonin for jet lag. We have recently agreed a practice policy that we will no longer prescribe these drugs for jet lag. There are a number of good reasons why prescribing of drugs such as Zopiclone or Melatonin is not safe or recommended:-
Medicines are not usually needed for jet lag.
Jet lag often improves after a few days as your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.
There are things that you can do to help – see the NHS.uk website for more information: Jet lag – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Sleeping tablets may be helpful if you’re having problems sleeping (insomnia). But they can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe. As Jet Lag will resolve on its own this does not meet the threshold for prescribing these tablets.
Melatonin is a natural hormone released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it’s time to sleep.
Melatonin tablets are not recommended for jet lag because there’s not enough evidence to show they work.