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gzt

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  # 988664 17-Feb-2014 09:46
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Ok so basically you want it for performance reasons but also it appears you have established an unusual sleep pattern that you want to break. It looks like you might have established a pattern of sleeping after exercise?

Establishing a new sleep pattern with conscious effort is possible for most people. It involves going to bed at the same time every night even if you are not tired, and following practices with the strange name of sleep hygiene. It's a method that requires a lot of personal disciple to achive success but you have that from your body building practice anyway.

On the other hand I see your goal is 11 hours because you believe more growth hormone will be released. I'm not sure that is correct, and 11 hours is a long time for most people to sleep regularly. Maybe your current practice of resting after exercise is actually the most beneficial.

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  # 988665 17-Feb-2014 09:46
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joker97: 

however just because it is a hormone does not mean it won't harm you. que steroids (a naturally occurring hormone) and death from heart failure (most infamous is flo-jo)


According to the coroner, Flo-jo died from suffocation following an epileptic seizure probably caused by a congenital condition  - not related to alleged steroid (ab)use.
So - a bad example - even if the point you're making is correct. 



 
 
 
 


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  # 988689 17-Feb-2014 10:31
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iHerb may sell a liquid form Melatonin with Valerian root that could have hypothetically cleared NZ customs earlier this month.

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  # 988840 17-Feb-2014 13:04
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The body makes its own melatonin, about 20mg will send you to sleep, taking a 3mg tablet half an hour before bed time will help but would much rather take melatonin over something like zopiclone which is far from natural and leaves you very tired the next day.
There are importers, when I get home Ill update this with their name if you like, I think mine were fairly cheap. Their use in my case is mainly to "adjust" the time the body makes it's own melatonin as opposed to forcing the body to sleep every night

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  # 988881 17-Feb-2014 14:00
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Pharmaceutical compounding NZ Ltd 62 diana drive Glenfield, 09 4421717, make 3mg capsules
These are actually on a script but if I did pay anything for them it wasn't enough for me to remember the price.

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  # 989211 17-Feb-2014 20:53
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Fred99: In NZ, Pharmac allow the drug to be prescribed - but it's a stretch of the imagination to say that it's "endorsed" by Pharmac - their data sheet for Circadin  - to quote them - gives it very a very lukewarm reception:
"Because of the role of melatonin in sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, and the age related decrease in endogenous melatonin production, melatonin may effectively improve sleep quality particularly in patients who are over 55 with primary insomnia."

Thats not correct, Section 25 of the Medicines Act lets doctors prescribe any melatonin. Melatonin isn't even in the pharmaceutical schedule so I don't see what Pharmac has to do with it. Pharmac fund what ever they want even if its not approved in NZ by Medsafe!
From what I've seen, most people pick the unapproved Worldwide brand of melatonin verses Circadian which is the only one approved in NZ by Medsafe. Thats probably because Circadian is like $20 more then the unapproved brand.

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  # 989219 17-Feb-2014 21:04
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Username1:
Fred99: In NZ, Pharmac allow the drug to be prescribed - but it's a stretch of the imagination to say that it's "endorsed" by Pharmac - their data sheet for Circadin  - to quote them - gives it very a very lukewarm reception:
"Because of the role of melatonin in sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, and the age related decrease in endogenous melatonin production, melatonin may effectively improve sleep quality particularly in patients who are over 55 with primary insomnia."

Thats not correct, Section 25 of the Medicines Act lets doctors prescribe any melatonin. Melatonin isn't even in the pharmaceutical schedule so I don't see what Pharmac has to do with it. Pharmac fund what ever they want even if its not approved in NZ by Medsafe!
From what I've seen, most people pick the unapproved Worldwide brand of melatonin verses Circadian which is the only one approved in NZ by Medsafe. Thats probably because Circadian is like $20 more then the unapproved brand.


My bad - substitute "medsafe" for "pharmac" in my post - must have been late.
I saw that "Worldwide" brand 2mg SR on a dept store website in US.
If it's not available locally and the OP had a script for Circadin, then it looks like he could import the generic to save a few $$$.


 
 
 
 


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  # 989232 17-Feb-2014 21:35
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Fred99:
Username1:
Fred99: In NZ, Pharmac allow the drug to be prescribed - but it's a stretch of the imagination to say that it's "endorsed" by Pharmac - their data sheet for Circadin  - to quote them - gives it very a very lukewarm reception:
"Because of the role of melatonin in sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, and the age related decrease in endogenous melatonin production, melatonin may effectively improve sleep quality particularly in patients who are over 55 with primary insomnia."

Thats not correct, Section 25 of the Medicines Act lets doctors prescribe any melatonin. Melatonin isn't even in the pharmaceutical schedule so I don't see what Pharmac has to do with it. Pharmac fund what ever they want even if its not approved in NZ by Medsafe!
From what I've seen, most people pick the unapproved Worldwide brand of melatonin verses Circadian which is the only one approved in NZ by Medsafe. Thats probably because Circadian is like $20 more then the unapproved brand.


My bad - substitute "medsafe" for "pharmac" in my post - must have been late.
I saw that "Worldwide" brand 2mg SR on a dept store website in US.
If it's not available locally and the OP had a script for Circadin, then it looks like he could import the generic to save a few $$$.


There are 'WorldWide Melatonin SR Capsules 2mg' available locally. That would probably be the closest to the Circadian brand. However if the Circadian brand is written on a prescription we are not allowed to switch it to an unapproved Section 29 brand without the doctor saying its OK. So you probably couldn't import it without the doctor writing it for the S29 medicine in particular.

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  # 989301 17-Feb-2014 22:40
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Username1:
Fred99:
Username1:
Fred99: In NZ, Pharmac allow the drug to be prescribed - but it's a stretch of the imagination to say that it's "endorsed" by Pharmac - their data sheet for Circadin  - to quote them - gives it very a very lukewarm reception:
"Because of the role of melatonin in sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, and the age related decrease in endogenous melatonin production, melatonin may effectively improve sleep quality particularly in patients who are over 55 with primary insomnia."

Thats not correct, Section 25 of the Medicines Act lets doctors prescribe any melatonin. Melatonin isn't even in the pharmaceutical schedule so I don't see what Pharmac has to do with it. Pharmac fund what ever they want even if its not approved in NZ by Medsafe!
From what I've seen, most people pick the unapproved Worldwide brand of melatonin verses Circadian which is the only one approved in NZ by Medsafe. Thats probably because Circadian is like $20 more then the unapproved brand.


My bad - substitute "medsafe" for "pharmac" in my post - must have been late.
I saw that "Worldwide" brand 2mg SR on a dept store website in US.
If it's not available locally and the OP had a script for Circadin, then it looks like he could import the generic to save a few $$$.


There are 'WorldWide Melatonin SR Capsules 2mg' available locally. That would probably be the closest to the Circadian brand. However if the Circadian brand is written on a prescription we are not allowed to switch it to an unapproved Section 29 brand without the doctor saying its OK. So you probably couldn't import it without the doctor writing it for the S29 medicine in particular.


OK.  With S29 notification requirements, it looks like a private individual would be kind of stuck if they tried to import (with a script) themselves.  It looks close to impossible.
But - it looks like what would be needed by the OP would be a very helpful GP, who could prescribe under section 25 (not 29), in which case the GP could import the stuff directly for the patient (or buy it locally)
In that case - requirements of section 29 don't seem to apply - as that's regulating the supply side (manufacturer/pharmacist) which is avoided - placing all responsibility on the GP.

[from Medsafe re Section 25]
"Procure the sale or supply" refers to obtaining the medicine through the usual channels such as a pharmacy or a pharmaceutical company, and it also permits the practitioner to use other means of obtaining a medicine such as importation. However, section 25 does not envisage bulk purchase by the practitioner. The use is to be for the treatment of a particular patient in the care of that or another practitioner.

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  # 989330 17-Feb-2014 23:43

Update on homemade ZMA. Today I felt happier and had more energy at the gym (lifted heavier weights also). Cant say yet if it was easier for me to get to sleep or if my sleep was better quality or not. I also took a vitamin B tablet before going to bed as well last night. The gym staff said that was a bad idea since B vitamins tend to give you more energy they said.

Of course the above could just be the placebo effect.

The 5-HTP tablets arrived today. Have already taken 1 of them with some more ZMA. Will give another update tomorrow. Will also take the B vitamin tablets in the morning instead.


To the OP. According to Wikipedia, 5-HTP is an intermediate chemical in the process of your body making Melatonin and Serotonin. Thats why Im trying 5-HTP myself.

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  # 989358 18-Feb-2014 01:22
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FYI, you can buy melatonin here in NZ without a prescription - just not in drug form.  Montmorency Tart Cherries are grown in NZ and contain high levels of naturally-occuring melatonin. There are several manufacturers producing Montmorency Tart Cherry concentrates and syrups and these are sold both online from within NZ and at health food stores, eg.Hardy's. I can't remember the two brands I tried but one was useless and the other had a very similar effect to that of a 3mg pill. 

As for the US, I guess much depends on the state but last time I was there it wasn't possible to buy pills higher than 2mg without a doctor's prescription. Canada is the same - higher doses are not available over the counter. I brought some back from Canada, and declared it, and didn't have an issue. If customs had raised eyebrows over it I had a small bottle with me that had the NZ pharmacy label on it and a letter from my doctor detailing what pills I was carrying with me. I was prescribed melatonin by my doctor in the hopes that it would help give me some sleep (for some reason, doctors frown on people only sleeping 4 hours a night). It did nothing for me. The potential side-effects worried me as it is known to trigger depression, and causes nightmares/night terrors. I imagine this is why it is prescription-only in NZ as it could be dangerous to some people. 

Anyway, if you think melatonin could help you - and you don't have issues with depression or nightmares to start with - then try the liquid Montmorency Tart Cherry drink. 

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  # 989515 18-Feb-2014 10:40
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I was reading about Montmorency Tart Cherries and some of the claims made, but there's an obvious/apparent problem:

Level of melatonin in the cherries is reported to be "up to" 13.6 nanograms per gram.  The therapeutic dose for the (NZ) approved/prescription-only "Circadin" tablet is 2 milligrams (that's 2 million nanograms).
2,000,000 nanograms / 13.6 (ng/g) = 147,059 grams (= 147 kilograms) of cherries needed to supply 2 milligrams of melatonin.  (does anybody remember the movie "The Witches of Eastwick"?)

So, if the cherry juice "works", then it's either placebo effect, or something else in the cherry juice.  That "something else" might well be added seratonin (especially if it's being shipped from USA or China, in which case it would be more or less illegal to import/sell).

There's another "problem" in that the half-life of melatonin in our system is quoted as 35-50 minutes.  If you take a 2mg (regular) tablet before bed, then after a few hours, there's practically nothing left (hence the apparently "common sense" use of controlled release tablets).  The Circadin data sheet cites the usual double blind trials.  It also mentions the accepted observation that melatonin levels in our natural circadian rhythm increase after darkness, peak at 2-4am, then diminish.  So the controlled release tablets seem like a damned good and common sense idea (ie to mimic our natural circadian rhythm), but the maker's clinical trials were all against placebo - they don't present any clinical trial results against "regular" non controlled-release melatonin. Not surprising, as regular melatonin tablets can't be patented, there's no incentive whatsoever for drug companies to spend money on expensive clinical trials for something they can never make money out of.  (It's a serious problem with the commercial model for research).

So - there's good news and bad news:
Good that clinical trials showed (not overwhelming) efficacy of Circadin with minimal side effects for some patients, all of whom were over 55.

Bad that it presented no data comparing efficacy with non controlled-release melatonin.  Other studies and anecdotal reports suggest that a (non controlled release) dose of melatonin might help people "clonk out", but this wasn't investigated or reported, nor was it discussed whether inducing "clonking out" quickly was in itself a good or bad thing, except in the context of that being one of the measures used to evaluate the efficacy of Circadin! (subtle difference - but IMO important)  These trials suggested that Circadin improved (subjective - self assessed in double blind trial) "quality of sleep" when other studies suggest that (non CR) doesn't, but the mechanism of why that difference was seen wasn't investigated : "The absolute bioavailability of melatonin from CIRCADIN has not been assessed". Hmmmm - IMO this was not good or complete research, when the whole point of it was to ascertain efficacy of a specific controlled release formula.  Blimmen drug companies eh.  (disclosure - I used to work for one)

Bad for the idea that circadin (or melatonin in general, perhaps) might help younger people with sleep disorders "get to sleep" - as it apparently didn't work: "This study also examined the effect of CIRCADIN on sleep latency in younger subjects with primary insomnia and low excretion of melatonin. Clinically significant effects on sleep latency were not demonstrated in these patients."   But of course this probably didn't look at or consider if a non controlled-release seratonin dose (more quickly available) might work.  (IMO it would be nuts to give melatonin supplement in any form to a child/adolescent - but I bet this happens in places where melatonin supplements are freely available).  The 'net is full of information suggesting that melatonin is harmless (which is probably true of cherry juice which would contain almost no melatonin at all) and cures more than even a chuckwagon full of snake-oil was claimed to do.


IMO Medsafe did the right thing restricting melatonin supplement availability in NZ.  - sorry if I suggested otherwise somewhere above.



gzt

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  # 989521 18-Feb-2014 10:52
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I noticed that also. But I think the bottom line is if it works for you that's a good thing. First of all I suspect there are benefits in taking a whole food approach that are not gained from a pharmaceutical approach. This is often the case with diet related things.

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  # 989567 18-Feb-2014 11:58
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gzt: I noticed that also. But I think the bottom line is if it works for you that's a good thing. First of all I suspect there are benefits in taking a whole food approach that are not gained from a pharmaceutical approach. This is often the case with diet related things.


I agree in general - and of course never underestimate the placebo effect - but with melatonin it's clear that other things influence our circadian rhythm (thus melatonin levels).
IMO, step back a little and look at the circadian rhythm as something which evolved as it provided an evolutionary advantage.  Then it's clearly not always an evolutionary advantage to be "clonked out" by "dim light melatonin onset" in the case where we might be under threat.  Many things that want to eat us are nocturnal - even if the need for sleep (whatever that might be) clearly exceeds the evolutionary advantage which might have been available if we were able to stay alert 24/7.  Give yourself something to worry about - some perceived threat - and it's hard to sleep.  Annoying in a modern context, but completely rational.

I just survived raising a teenager (21 this year!).  I can assure you that I'm well and truly familiar with the change to circadian rhythm in adolescence, probably the result of changes in melatonin production during/following puberty, and again probably due to an evolutionary advantage (hopefully obvious without spelling it out).
Thankfully - not a bad adolescence (compared to many) and he was sufficiently self-aware to realise that lack of sleep becomes a real problem if you're always half-asleep in class.  I suspect that if melatonin was freely available, he'd have probably taken it.

One thing might have helped (or he just grew out of it - or it was just coincidence, or something else).  Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) exercises.  But added to that, a "pet theory" that if CBM "works" to reinforce a positive mental state (which seems to have been proven clinically), which probably helps with sleep,  then what's the impact of inadvertent "negative" CBM exercises?  In particular, I'm talking about computer games, and specifically computer games in which the player is facing repeated/continuous situations of having to look for a threat.  This is the exact opposite of "positive" CBM therapy.  Avoiding in the evenings (voluntarily) seemed to be very effective.
I'd be very interested to see some research conducted on the impact of computer games (of the "shoot 'em up" type commonly played by boys) on circadian rhythm, including seratonin production.  Yeah - I know the general subject of the "harm" of computer games has been done to death - but observation of my son and his peers over the years, I really do wonder if we've been looking for the wrong things.

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  # 989576 18-Feb-2014 12:21
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@fred99, thanks for posting. learned a lot :)

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