Missing In Iceland: Melatonin - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Missing In Iceland: Melatonin

Missing In Iceland: Melatonin

Published February 7, 2017

Photos by
Art Bicnick

For better or worse, there are lots of things that you won’t find in Iceland. Amongst these things is melatonin. Why can’t you find this common sleep aid anywhere for sale in Iceland? Because of European and Icelandic laws: you can get melatonin in Iceland, but only by prescription, and at a cost up to ten times greater than what you might find in Europe or North America. Melatonin is classified as medicine in Iceland, and the law specifically prohibits individuals from importing medicine from outside Europe for personal use. This law is reportedly in place to ensure that imported medicine is safe and effective. Recent research has shown that melatonin can induce certain unpleasant side effects, such as temporary depressive symptoms and daytime sleepiness, and it is still a matter of contention in many countries in the world if melatonin is safe enough to sell over the counter. That said, certain enterprising Icelanders have established Facebook groups specifically for the purpose of importing melatonin, so chances are a careful Facebook search could help you get your hands on melatonin in Iceland without having to go to a doctor first, or having to pay the exorbitant price being asked for it.

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