Ramelteon is used to help patients who have sleep-onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) fall asleep more quickly. Ramelteon is in a class of medications called melatonin receptor agonists. It works similarly to melatonin, a natural substance in the brain that is needed for sleep.
Ramelteon comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day, no earlier than 30 minutes before bedtime. Do not take ramelteon with or shortly after a meal. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ramelteon exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
You may become sleepy soon after you take ramelteon. After you take ramelteon, you should complete any necessary bedtime preparations and go to bed. Do not plan any other activities for this time. Do not take ramelteon if you will be unable to remain asleep for 7 to 8 hours after taking the medication.
Your insomnia should improve within 7 to 10 days after you begin treatment with ramelteon. Call your doctor if your insomnia does not improve during this time or gets worse at any time during your treatment.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with ramelteon and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking ramelteon,
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Ramelteon should only be taken at bedtime. If you did not take ramelteon at bedtime and you are unable to fall asleep, you may take ramelteon if you will be able to remain in bed for 7 to 8 hours afterward. Do not take ramelteon if you are not ready to go to sleep and stay asleep for at least 7 to 8 hours.
Ramelteon may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Ramelteon may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.