10 Nov 2016

Random Case Report - A Heart Infection from Shooting Melatonin

  • Melatonin = hormone made by the pineal gland, a pea-sized clump of tissue found deep within the brain - influences when we fall asleep and wake up - used to treat insomnia and jet lag
  • A middle-aged man with a history of lung problems, major depression, and drug abuse ended up in a hospital and was found to have bacteria growing on one of the valves of his heart (aortic valve endocarditis), inhibiting its ability to pump blood properly
  • He was given antibiotics and scheduled for surgery to replace the damaged heart valve
  • Just before surgery, he was hospitalized again with another heart infection, and was again given antibiotics
  • At this point, he told doctors that for the past two years he had been crushing melatonin tablets, mixing them with ice water, and injecting them into a vein several times a week - this apparently got him high (caused euphoria) and helped him to sleep - it also dumped bacteria into his bloodstream
  • A week later he successfully underwent heart valve surgery
  • This appears to be the first report of melatonin being abused and being used to get high
BMC Psychiatry - Intravenous Melatonin Abuse Leading to Recurrent Aortic Valve Endocarditis: A Case Report and Discussion

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