If your child has been asked to attend for a sedation EEG this is because they require sedation.
This may be following abandonment of a previous EEG or the consultant may have requested a sedation sleep EEG.
EEG setup is as described in our paediatric EEG guide.
You will attend neurophysiology before being escorted to the children and young people’s day unit who will administer Melatonin sedation.
MELATONIN is a naturally occurring chemical produced in the body by a gland in the brain (pineal gland). This chemical is produced during the night and is triggered by the onset of darkness. Levels in the blood are low during most of the day.
Melatonin is involved in the process of bringing on sleep and the regulation of sleep cycles and may also affect normal rhythms (such as jet lag) and body temperature.
Melatonin given as a tablet or capsule helps to regulate the sleep-wake pattern in children/adults with a disturbed sleep/wake pattern, insomnia.
How can Melatonin be given?
Capsules can be opened and the contents dispensed with small amounts of water or can be mixed with soft food such as yoghurt, mashed potato, milky drinks.
Tablets can be sucked or chewed.
The tablets and capsules are 3mg (2.5mg slow release tablets are also available, but are not stocked at James Cook).
How much Melatonin should be given?
Patients are started on a low dose 3mg at night increasing slowly in 3mg increments to a
maximum of 10mg. Doses above 10mg do not appear to have an improved effect.
Side effects are rare but short term effects can include:
- Pruritis (itching)
Further studies are required to find out Melatonin‟s long-term effects, interactions with other medicines and effects on other diseases – some studies in epilepsy show an improvement, while others do not.
Melatonin products are not approved by the MCA (a government body which approves and regulates medicines and vaccines).
In this country Melatonin products are only available on a doctor‟s prescription on a “named patient” basis. The prescribing doctor takes full and complete responsibility for the use of this product.
The pharmacy at James Cook University Hospital obtains Melatonin products from a supplier who is authorised to import Melatonin from the USA.
In the USA Melatonin is considered to be a health food supplement and is available for sale in health food stores and pharmacies. Melatonin products therefore bypass the strict
regulations governing medicines. In principle your family doctor should be able to prescribe Melatonin in the same way as your hospital doctor, but because they may not be familiar with its use and effects may prefer for it to be prescribed by the hospital. Please remember to organise further supplies at least one week before you run out.
Should any problems arise after leaving the EEG Department please refer to either your GP or nearest Accident and Emergency Department for advice, and present this information.