Melatonin's Effectiveness Remains Murky

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

New evidence released by the Agencyfor Healthcare Research and Quality(AHRQ) concluded that melatonin does notwork in treating a majority of primary sleepdisorders.

The federal agency said that melatoninsupplements do not appear to affect sleepquality, wakefulness after sleep onset, totalsleep time, or percentage of the time spentin rapid eye movement sleep. All are key criteriafor an effective treatment for sleepproblems such as insomnia.

AHRQ's review suggested that melatoninin oral doses are relatively safe when takenfor the short term, over a period of days orweeks, and is safe at relatively high dosesand in various formulations. The agency,however, said the safety of melatonin supplementationwhen used for the long termremains unclear.