Monografía de pacientes de Natural Standard®, Copyright © 2017 (www.naturalstandard.com). Todos los derechos reservados. Prohibida su distribución comercial. Esta monografía tiene como único fin informar, y no debe considerarse como asesoramiento médico específico. Antes de tomar decisiones sobre terapias o enfermedades, consulta con un profesional de salud calificado.

Background

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland from the amino acid tryptophan. The production and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness and decreased by light, suggesting that melatonin is involved in circadian rhythm (the internal body clock) and regulation of diverse body functions. Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime.

The most common use of melatonin is to aid in sleep. The strongest evidence supporting the use of melatonin is for delayed sleep phase syndrome, insomnia in children and the elderly, jet lag, and sleep problems in people with behavioral, developmental, or mental disorders. The weakest evidence in support of melatonin is for work shift sleep disorder. Good evidence in support of melatonin for other uses is lacking.

New drugs that block the effects of melatonin are being developed. These include BMS-214778 and luzindole, and they may have uses in various disorders.