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Melatonin in the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents

  • David Armour (a1) and Carol Paton (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To review the efficacy and safety of melatonin in the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents, through a Medline search covering the years 1966 to November 2003.

Results

Five placebo-controlled studies and several case series were identified. Melatonin reduces sleep latency, but does not consistently improve other aspects of sleep disturbance. Safety, particularly in the medium- and long-term, is poorly evaluated; short-term concerns include exacerbation of epilepsy and asthma.

Clinical Implications

Melatonin might be effective in the short-term treatment of sleep onset insomnia. The optimal dose is unknown. It cannot currently be recommended for the treatment of other forms of sleep disturbance or for routine long-term use. Melatonin is not a licensed medicine in the UK.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Melatonin in the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents

  • David Armour (a1) and Carol Paton (a2)
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