Tasimelteon vs Melatonin

tasimelteon vs melatonin

Both melatonin and tasimelteon are used for a night of better sleep, and they are quite similar in chemical structures too, tasimelteon is also a derivative of Melatonin, but they have their differences.

Below is a comparison of them.

1. Different categories. (Tasimelteon is regarded as an API, and melatonin is treated as a nutritional supplement) 

Tasimelteon is an active pharmaceutical ingredient and it was granted as an orphan drug by the FDA in 2010, while Melatonin is regarded as a nutritional supplement.

China State FDA has different requirements for pharmaceutical ingredients and food supplements.

2. Melatonin is safer

Research has shown that low-dose melatonin is safe for children.

You can check melatonin powder for more details.

3. Cost Difference. (its pure powder costs 2500 times more than melatonin) 

1G tasimelteon is worth almost 10kg of Melatonin.

The cost difference is mainly caused by: 1) the production scale. 2) Synthesis steps.

With a small demand as an active ingredient of medicines compared with melatonin with huge demands from the market as a healthcare supplement, melatonin wins easily.

The commercialized production scale has reduced melatonin price to about 180usd/kg or less.

4. Synthesis process

Its shortest synthesis route has 6 steps, and the longest route of synthesis has 18 steps. Longer synthesis steps mean less yield with the same amount of starting materials.

While there is a one-step synthesis method for melatonin and even the longest route only has 3 steps. You can check the routes below:

Tasimelteon vs Melatonin
tasimelteon synthesis route
melatonin synthesis route
melatonin synthesis route

5. Isomer and Chirality.

As you can see from their chemical structures, tasimelteon is chiral and melatonin is not. 

Isomers are also known as impurities. Due to the long synthesis steps for tasimelteon, tasimelteon has 6 isomers.

Melatonin only has 3 impurities.

melatonin impurities

6. Stability

As you can see from their structures, tasimelteon is less stable than melatonin.

This is decided by the triangle structure within it.


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