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Melatonin: Translation of Ongoing Studies Into Possible Therapeutic Applications Outside Sleep Disorders

      ABSTRACT

      Purpose

      Melatonin, a natural hormone mainly synthesized by the pineal gland, is regulated by circadian rhythm. Synthetic melatonin is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for any indication. However, melatonin receptor agonists such as ramelteon and tasimelteon are US Food and Drug Administration approved and are considered by the American Academy of Family Physicians for the treatment of insomnia. Due to the availability of over-the-counter products in some countries and the increasing use of melatonin, it is interesting to highlight knowledge regarding the potential benefits of melatonin outside sleep disorders.

      Methods

      This narrative review included published reports in EMBASE and MEDLINE databases between 1975 and 2021 relating to the therapeutic applications of melatonin.

      Findings

      Based on the quality of the evidence published to date, the most promising non-insomnia indications are for treating ischemia/reperfusion injury, primary headache disorders, fibromyalgia, glucose control, and blood pressure control.

      Implications

      Most of the studies were preclinical and in in vivo and in vitro phases. More clinical trials are needed before recommending melatonin as a treatment in clinical practice.

      Keywords

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