Insomnia Abstracts 3 Melatonin

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Treatment of primary insomnia with melatonin: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.
            (Almeida Montes et al., 2003) Download
OBJECTIVE:  To assess the hypnotic effect of melatonin in patients with primary insomnia. METHOD:  Ten patients (mean age 50 yr, range 30-72 yr) who met the DSM-IV criteria for primary insomnia received, in random order, 0.3 mg of melatonin, 1.0 mg of melatonin or placebo 60 minutes before bedtime. A crossover design was used so that each patient received each of the 3 treatments for a 7-day period (with a 5-day washout period between). After each 7-day treatment, night time electroencephalographic (EEG) records were collected, and each morning, subjects completed sleep logs and analogue-visual scales to document the amount and subjective quality of sleep. RESULTS:  There were no significant differences in sleep EEG, the amount or subjective quality of sleep or side effects between the placebo, 0.3-mg melatonin or 1.0-mg melatonin treatments. CONCLUSION:  Melatonin did not produce any sleep benefit in this sample of patients with primary insomnia.

Effect of short-wave (6-22 MHz) magnetic fields on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in humans: the Schwarzenburg shut-down study.
            (Altpeter et al., 2006) Download
This paper describes the results of a unique "natural experiment" of the operation and cessation of a broadcast transmitter with its short-wave electromagnetic fields (6-22 MHz) on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in a general human population sample. In 1998, 54 volunteers (21 men, 33 women) were followed for 1 week each before and after shut-down of the short-wave radio transmitter at Schwarzenburg (Switzerland). Salivary melatonin was sampled five times a day and total daily excretion and acrophase were estimated using complex cosinor analysis. Sleep quality was recorded daily using a visual analogue scale. Before shut down, self-rated sleep quality was reduced by 3.9 units (95% CI: 1.7-6.0) per mA/m increase in magnetic field exposure. The corresponding decrease in melatonin excretion was 10% (95% CI: -32 to 20%). After shutdown, sleep quality improved by 1.7 units (95% CI: 0.1-3.4) per mA/m decrease in magnetic field exposure. Melatonin excretion increased by 15% (95% CI: -3 to 36%) compared to baseline values suggesting a rebound effect. Stratified analyses showed an exposure effect on melatonin excretion in poor sleepers (26% increase; 95% CI: 8-47%) but not in good sleepers. Change in sleep quality and melatonin excretion was related to the extent of magnetic field reduction after the transmitter's shut down in poor but not good sleepers. However, blinding of exposure was not possible in this observational study and this may have affected the outcome measurements in a direct or indirect (psychological) way.

Melatonin in humans.
            (Brzezinski, 1997) Download
Three centuries ago, the French philosopher René Descartes described the pineal gland as “the seat of the soul,” but it was not until the late 1950s that melatonin, the principal substance secreted by the pineal gland, was identified.1 There is now evidence that melatonin may have a role in the biologic regulation of circadian rhythms, sleep, mood, and perhaps reproduction, tumor growth, and aging (Table 1). However, uncertainties and doubts still surround the role of melatonin in human phys- iology and pathophysiology. This review summariz- es current knowledge about melatonin in humans and its clinical implications.

Controlled-release melatonin, singly and combined with cognitive behavioural therapy, for persistent insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
(Cortesi et al., 2012) Download
Although melatonin and cognitive-behavioural therapy have shown efficacy in treating sleep disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders, little is known about their relative or combined efficacy. One hundred and sixty children with autism spectrum disorders, aged 4-10 years, suffering from sleep onset insomnia and impaired sleep maintenance, were assigned randomly to either (1) combination of controlled-release melatonin and cognitive-behavioural therapy; (2) controlled-release melatonin; (3) four sessions of cognitive-behavioural therapy; or (4) placebo drug treatment condition for 12 weeks in a 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 ratio. Children were studied at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. Treatment response was assessed with 1-week actigraphic monitoring, sleep diary and sleep questionnaire. Main outcome measures, derived actigraphically, were sleep latency, total sleep time, wake after sleep onset and number of awakenings. The active treatment groups all resulted in improvements across all outcome measures, with moderate-to-large effect sizes from baseline to a 12-week assessment. Melatonin treatment was mainly effective in reducing insomnia symptoms, while cognitive-behavioural therapy had a light positive impact mainly on sleep latency, suggesting that some behavioural aspects might play a role in determining initial insomnia. The combination treatment group showed a trend to outperform other active treatment groups, with fewer dropouts and a greater proportion of treatment responders achieving clinically significant changes (63.38% normative sleep efficiency criterion of >85% and 84.62%, sleep onset latency <30 min). This study demonstrates that adding behavioural intervention to melatonin treatment seems to result in a better treatment response, at least in the short term.

Improvement of sleep quality in elderly people by controlled-release melatonin.
            (Garfinkel et al., 1995) Download
Melatonin, produced by the pineal gland at night, has a role in regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Among elderly people, even those who are healthy, the frequency of sleep disorders is high and there is an association with impairment of melatonin production. We investigated the effect of a controlled-release formulation of melatonin on sleep quality in 12 elderly subjects (aged 76 [SD 8] years) who were receiving various medications for chronic illnesses and who complained of insomnia. In all 12 subjects the peak excretion of the main melatonin metabolite 6-sulphatoxymelatonin during the night was lower than normal and/or delayed in comparison with non-insomniac elderly people. In a randomised, double-blind, crossover study the subjects were treated for 3 weeks with 2 mg per night of controlled-release melatonin and for 3 weeks with placebo, with a week's washout period. Sleep quality was objectively monitored by wrist actigraphy. Sleep efficiency was significantly greater after melatonin than after placebo (83 [SE 4] vs 75 [3]%, p < 0.001) and wake time after sleep onset was significantly shorter (49 [14] vs 73 [13] min, p < 0.001). Sleep latency decreased, but not significantly (19 [5] vs 33 [7] min, p = 0.088). Total sleep time was not affected. The only adverse effects reported were two cases of pruritus, one during melatonin and one during placebo treatment; both resolved spontaneously. Melatonin deficiency may have an important role in the high frequency of insomnia among elderly people. Controlled-release melatonin replacement therapy effectively improves sleep quality in this population.

Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.
            (Howatson et al., 2012) Download
BACKGROUND:  Tart Montmorency cherries have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemicals including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans. PURPOSE:  The aim of our investigation was to ascertain whether ingestion of a tart cherry juice concentrate would increase the urinary melatonin levels in healthy adults and improve sleep quality. METHODS:  In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 20 volunteers consumed either a placebo or tart cherry juice concentrate for 7 days. Measures of sleep quality recorded by actigraphy and subjective sleep questionnaires were completed. Sequential urine samples over 48 h were collected and urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (major metabolite of melatonin) determined; cosinor analysis was used to determine melatonin circadian rhythm (mesor, acrophase and amplitude). In addition, total urinary melatonin content was determined over the sampled period. Trial differences were determined using a repeated measures ANOVA. RESULTS:  Total melatonin content was significantly elevated (P < 0.05) in the cherry juice group, whilst no differences were shown between baseline and placebo trials. There were significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency total (P < 0.05) with cherry juice supplementation. Although there was no difference in timing of the melatonin circardian rhythm, there was a trend to a higher mesor and amplitude. CONCLUSIONS:  These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.

The role of melatonin and circadian phase in age-related sleep-maintenance insomnia: assessment in a clinical trial of melatonin replacement.
            (Hughes et al., 1998) Download
The present investigation used a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover design to assess the sleep-promoting effect of three melatonin replacement delivery strategies in a group of patients with age-related sleep-maintenance insomnia. Subjects alternated between treatment and "washout" conditions in 2-week trials. The specific treatment strategies for a high physiological dose (0.5 mg) of melatonin were: (1) EARLY: An immediate-release dose taken 30 minutes before bedtime; (2) CONTINUOUS: A controlled-release dose taken 30 minutes before bedtime; (3) LATE: An immediate-release dose taken 4 hours after bedtime. The EARLY and LATE treatments yielded significant and unambiguous reductions in core body temperature. All three melatonin treatments shortened latencies to persistent sleep, demonstrating that high physiological doses of melatonin can promote sleep in this population. Despite this effect on sleep latency, however, melatonin was not effective in sustaining sleep. No treatment improved total sleep time, sleep efficiency, or wake after sleep onset. Likewise, melatonin did not improve subjective self-reports of nighttime sleep and daytime alertness. Correlational analyses comparing sleep in the placebo condition with melatonin production revealed that melatonin levels were not correlated with sleep. Furthermore, low melatonin producers were not preferentially responsive to melatonin replacement. Total sleep time and sleep efficiency were correlated with the timing of the endogenous melatonin rhythm, and particularly with the phase-relationship between habitual bedtime and the phase of the circadian timing system.


 

Melatonin for sedative withdrawal in older patients with primary insomnia: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
            (Lähteenmäki et al., 2014) Download
AIM:  We compared the efficacy of melatonin and placebo as adjuvants in the withdrawal of patients from long term temazepam, zopiclone or zolpidem (here 'BZD') use. METHODS:  A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was conducted in a primary health care outpatient clinic. Ninety-two men or women (≥55 years) with primary insomnia and chronic BZD use received controlled release melatonin 2 mg (CRM) (n = 46) or placebo (n = 46) during the 1 month withdrawal from BZDs. Psychosocial support was provided. Follow-up continued for up to 6 months. Successful BZD withdrawal by the end of 1 month was confirmed by BZD plasma determinations, while reduction in BZD use and abstinence continuing for 6 months were noted. RESULTS:  There were two drop-outs on CRM and one on placebo. After a 1 month withdrawal, 31 participants (67%; 95% CI 54, 81) on CRM and 39 (85%; 74, 95) on placebo had withdrawn completely (intention-to-treat analysis between groups, P = 0.051; per protocol P = 0.043). Reduction in BZD use was similar or even more rare in the CRM than in the placebo group (P = 0.052 per protocol). After 6 months, 14 participants in the CRM group and 20 in the placebo group remained non-users of BZD (NS between groups). BZD doses were higher in the CRM than in the placebo group at the end of the 6 month follow-up (P = 0.025). Withdrawal symptoms did not differ between the groups. CONCLUSIONS:  Gradual dose reduction of BZDs combined with CRM or placebo, and psychosocial support produced high short term and moderate long term BZD abstinence. CRM showed no withdrawal benefit compared with placebo.

Nocturnal 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion in insomnia and its relation to the response to melatonin replacement therapy.
            (Leger et al., 2004) Download
PURPOSE:  Melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland at night, is an endogenous sleep regulator. Both sleep disorders and impaired melatonin production are common among the elderly. We examined the excretion of the major melatonin metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in insomnia patients aged >or=55 years and its relation with the subsequent response to melatonin therapy. METHODS:  We studied 517 insomnia patients, along with 29 age-matched and 30 younger healthy volunteers. Nocturnal urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion was assessed between 10 pm and 10 am. Three hundred and ninety-six of the insomnia patients were treated for 2 weeks with placebo and for 3 weeks with 2 mg per night of controlled-release melatonin, of which 372 provided complete datasets. Clinical response, assessed with the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire, was defined as an improvement of 10 mm or more on the visual analog scales. RESULTS:  Mean (+/- SD) 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion was lower in the insomnia patients (9.0 +/- 8.3 microg per night) than in volunteers of the same age (18.1 +/- 12.7 microg per night, P <0.05) and in younger volunteers (24.2 +/- 11.9 microg per night, P <0.05). About 30% of patients (112/372) excreted <or=3.5 microg of sulfatoxymelatonin per night, which is considered to be lower than normal for this age group. These "low excretors" had a significantly higher response to melatonin replacement therapy (58% [65/112] vs. 47% [122/260], P <0.05). CONCLUSION:  Low nocturnal melatonin production is associated with insomnia in patients aged 55 years or older, and identifies patients who are somewhat more likely to respond to melatonin replacement.

Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects.
            (Lemoine et al., 2007) Download
Melatonin, secreted nocturnally by the pineal gland, is an endogenous sleep regulator. Impaired melatonin production and complaints on poor quality of sleep are common among the elderly. Non-restorative sleep (perceived poor quality of sleep) and subsequently poor daytime functioning are increasingly recognized as a leading syndrome in the diagnostic and therapeutic process of insomnia complaints. The effects of 3-weeks prolonged-release melatonin 2 mg (PR-melatonin) versus placebo treatment were assessed in a multi-center randomized placebo-controlled study in 170 primary insomnia outpatients aged > or =55 years. Improvements in quality of sleep (QOS) the night before and morning alertness (BFW) were assessed using the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire and changes in sleep quality (QON) reported on five categorical unit scales. Rebound insomnia and withdrawal effects following discontinuation were also evaluated. PR-melatonin significantly improved QOS (-22.5 versus -16.5 mm, P = 0.047), QON (0.89 versus 0.46 units; P = 0.003) and BFW (-15.7 versus -6.8 mm; P = 0.002) compared with placebo. The improvements in QOS and BFW were strongly correlated (Rval = 0.77, P < 0.001) suggesting a beneficial treatment effect on the restorative value of sleep. These results were confirmed in a subgroup of patients with a greater symptom severity. There was no evidence of rebound insomnia or withdrawal effects following treatment discontinuation. The incidence of adverse events was low and most side-effects were judged to be of minor severity. PR-melatonin is the first drug shown to significantly improve quality of sleep and morning alertness in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and older-suggesting more restorative sleep, and without withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.


 

Effect of controlled-release melatonin on sleep quality, mood, and quality of life in subjects with seasonal or weather-associated changes in mood and behaviour.
            (Leppämäki et al., 2003) Download
This study aimed to explore the effects of melatonin on sleep, waking up and well being in subjects with varying degrees of seasonal or weather-associated changes in mood and behaviour. Fifty-eight healthy adults exhibiting subsyndromal seasonal affective disorder (s-SAD) and/or the negative or positive type of weather-associated syndrome (WAS) were randomised to either 2 mg of sustained-release melatonin or placebo tablets 1-2 h before a desired bedtime for 3 weeks. Outcome measures were changes from baseline in sleep quality, sleepiness after waking, atypical depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life by week three. Early morning salivary melatonin concentrations were measured at baseline and treatment cessation in all subjects. Melatonin administration significantly improved the quality of sleep (P=0.03) and vitality (P=0.02) in the subjects with s-SAD, but attenuated the improvement of atypical symptoms and physical parameters of quality of life compared to placebo in the subjects with WAS, positive type.

The effect of prolonged-release melatonin on sleep measures and psychomotor performance in elderly patients with insomnia.
            (Luthringer et al., 2009) Download
Objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of prolonged-release melatonin 2 mg (PRM) on sleep and subsequent daytime psychomotor performance in patients aged > or =55 years with primary insomnia, as defined by fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association. Patients (N = 40) were treated nightly single-blind with placebo (2 weeks), randomized double-blind to PRM or placebo (3 weeks) followed by withdrawal period (3 weeks). Sleep was assessed by polysomnography, all-night sleep electroencephalography spectral analysis and questionnaires. Psychomotor performance was assessed by the Leeds Psychomotor Test battery. By the end of the double-blind treatment, the PRM group had significantly shorter sleep onset latency (9 min; P = 0.02) compared with the placebo group and scored significantly better in the Critical Flicker Fusion Test (P = 0.008) without negatively affecting sleep structure and architecture. Half of the patients reported substantial improvement in sleep quality at home with PRM compared with 15% with placebo (P = 0.018). No rebound effects were observed during withdrawal. In conclusion, nightly treatment with PRM effectively induced sleep and improved perceived quality of sleep in patients with primary insomnia aged > or =55 years. Daytime psychomotor performance was not impaired and was consistently better with PRM compared with placebo. PRM was well tolerated with no evidence of rebound effects.


 

Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study.
            (Pigeon et al., 2010) Download
This study ascertained whether a proprietary tart cherry juice blend (CherryPharm, Inc., Geneva, NY, USA) associated with anecdotal reports of sleep enhancement improves subjective reports of insomnia compared to a placebo beverage. The pilot study used a randomized, double-blind, crossover design where each participant received both treatment and placebo for 2 weeks with an intervening 2-week washout period. Sleep continuity (sleep onset, wake after sleep onset, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency) was assessed by 2-week mean values from daily sleep diaries and disease severity by the Insomnia Severity Index in a cohort of 15 older adults with chronic insomnia who were otherwise healthy. The tart cherry juice beverage was associated with statistically significant pre- to post-treatment improvements on all sleep variables. When compared to placebo, the study beverage produced significant reductions in insomnia severity (minutes awake after sleep onset); no such improvements were observed for sleep latency, total sleep time, or sleep efficiency compared to placebo. Effect sizes were moderate and in some cases negligible. The results of this pilot study suggest that CherryPharm, a tart cherry juice blend, has modest beneficial effects on sleep in older adults with insomnia with effect sizes equal to or exceeding those observed in studies of valerian and in some, but not all, studies of melatonin, the two most studied natural products for insomnia. These effects, however, were considerably less than those for evidence-based treatments of insomnia: hypnotic agents and cognitive-behavioral therapies for insomnia.

The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
            (Rondanelli et al., 2011) Download
OBJECTIVES:  To determine whether nightly administration of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc improves primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents. DESIGN:  Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. SETTING:  One long-term care facility in Pavia, Italy. PARTICIPANTS:  Forty-three participants with primary insomnia (22 in the supplemented group, 21 in the placebo group) aged 78.3 ± 3.9. INTERVENTION:  Participants took a food supplement (5 mg melatonin, 225 mg magnesium, and 11.25 mg zinc, mixed with 100 g of pear pulp) or placebo (100 g pear pulp) every day for 8 weeks, 1 hour before bedtime. MEASUREMENTS:  The primary goal was to evaluate sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire (LSEQ), the Short Insomnia Questionnaire (SDQ), and a validated quality-of-life instrument (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Survey (SF-36)) were administered as secondary end points. Total sleep time was evaluated using a wearable armband-shaped sensor. All measures were performed at baseline and after 60 days. RESULTS:  The food supplement resulted in considerably better overall PSQI scores than placebo (difference between groups in change from baseline PSQI score=6.8; 95% confidence interval=5.4-8.3, P<.001). Moreover, the significant improvements in all four domains of the LSEQ (ease of getting to sleep, P<.001; quality of sleep, P<.001; hangover on awakening from sleep, P=.005; alertness and behavioral integrity the following morning, P=.001), in SDQ score (P<.001), in total sleep time (P<.001), and in SF-36 physical score (P=.006) suggest that treatment had a beneficial effect on the restorative value of sleep. CONCLUSION:  The administration of nightly melatonin, magnesium, and zinc appears to improve the quality of sleep and the quality of life in long-term care facility residents with primary insomnia.

Melatonin improves health status and sleep in children with idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
            (Smits et al., 2003) Download
OBJECTIVE:  To investigate the effect of melatonin treatment on health status and sleep in children with idiopathic sleep-onset insomnia. METHOD:  A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in a Dutch sleep center, involving 62 children, 6 to 12 years of age, who suffered more than 1 year from idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia. Patients received either 5 mg melatonin or placebo at 7 pm. The study consisted of a 1-week baseline period, followed by a 4-week treatment. Health status was measured with the RAND General Health Rating Index (RAND-GHRI) and Functional Status II (FS-II) questionnaires. Lights-off time, sleep onset, and wake-up time were recorded in a diary, and endogenous dim light melatonin onset was measured in saliva. RESULTS:  The total scores of the RAND-GHRI and FS-II improved significantly more during melatonin treatment compared to placebo. The magnitude of change was much higher in the melatonin group than in the placebo group, with standardized response means for the RAND-GHRI of 0.69 versus 0.07 and for the FS-II of 1.61 versus 0.64. Melatonin treatment also significantly advanced sleep onset by 57 minutes, sleep offset by 9 minutes, and melatonin onset by 82 minutes, and decreased sleep latency by 17 minutes. Lights-off time and total sleep time did not change. CONCLUSIONS:  Melatonin improves health status and advances the sleep-wake rhythm in children with idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia.

Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report.
            (Spence et al., 2004) Download
The response to acupuncture of 18 anxious adult subjects who complained of insomnia was assessed in an open prepost clinical trial study. Five weeks of acupuncture treatment was associated with a significant (p = 0.002) nocturnal increase in endogenous melatonin secretion (as measured in urine) and significant improvements in polysomnographic measures of sleep onset latency (p = 0.003), arousal index (p = 0.001), total sleep time (p = 0.001), and sleep efficiency (p = 0.002). Significant reductions in state (p = 0.049) and trait (p = 0.004) anxiety scores were also found. These objective findings are consistent with clinical reports of acupuncture's relaxant effects. Acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.

Evaluation of sleep, puberty and mental health in children with long-term melatonin treatment for chronic idiopathic childhood sleep onset insomnia.
            (van Geijlswijk et al., 2011) Download
OBJECTIVES:  To establish whether long-term use of melatonin influences pubertal development, sleep quality and mental health development in children as compared with the normal Dutch population of the same age. METHODS:  This follow-up research study was conducted in children included in a previous melatonin dose-finding trial. Outcomes were measured using questionnaires (Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and Tanner Stages) adopted for Dutch children. Mean duration of therapy, persistence of effect, adverse events and (other) reasons leading to cessation of therapy were additional objectives of this study. RESULTS:  Mean years of usage (n=51) was 3.1 years (min 1.0 year, max 4.6 years), mean dose 2.69 mg (min 0.3 mg, max 10 mg). Mean SDQ score, mean CSHQ score and Tanner Stages standard deviation scores did not differ in a statistically significant way from published scores of the general Dutch population of the same age and sex. CONCLUSIONS:  This follow-up study demonstrates that melatonin treatment in children can be sustained over a long period of time without substantial deviation of the development of children with respect to sleep quality, puberty development and mental health scores, as compared with the general Dutch population.

Efficacy of prolonged release melatonin in insomnia patients aged 55-80 years: quality of sleep and next-day alertness outcomes.
            (Wade et al., 2007) Download
OBJECTIVE:  Melatonin, the hormone produced nocturnally by the pineal gland, serves as a circadian time cue and sleep-anticipating signal in humans. With age, melatonin production declines and the prevalence of sleep disorders, particularly insomnia, increases. The efficacy and safety of a prolonged release melatonin formulation (PR-melatonin; Circadin* 2 mg) were examined in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older. DESIGN:  Randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled. SETTING:  Primary care. METHODOLOGY:  From 1248 patients pre-screened and 523 attending visit 1, 354 males and females aged 55-80 years were admitted to the study, 177 to active medication and 177 to placebo. The study was conducted by primary care physicians in the West of Scotland and consisted of a 2-week, single blind, placebo run-in period followed by a 3-week double blind treatment period with PR-melatonin or placebo, one tablet per day at 2 hours before bedtime. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:  Responder rate (concomitant improvement in sleep quality and morning alertness on Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire [LSEQ]), other LSEQ assessments, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) global score, other PSQI assessments, Quality of Night and Quality of Day derived from a diary, Clinical Global Improvement scale (CGI) score and quality of life (WHO-5 well being index). RESULTS:  Of the 354 patients entering the active phase of the study, 20 failed to complete visit 3 (eight PR-melatonin; 12 Placebo). The principal reasons for drop-out were patient decision and lost to follow-up. Significant differences in favour of PR-melatonin vs. placebo treatment were found in concomitant and clinically relevant improvements in quality of sleep and morning alertness, demonstrated by responder analysis (26% vs. 15%; p = 0.014) as well as on each of these parameters separately. A significant and clinically relevant shortening of sleep latency to the same extent as most frequently used sleep medications was also found (-24.3 vs.-12.9 minutes; p = 0.028). Quality of life also improved significantly (p = 0.034). CONCLUSIONS:  PR-melatonin results in significant and clinically meaningful improvements in sleep quality, morning alertness, sleep onset latency and quality of life in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and over. TRIAL REGISTRATION:  The trial was conducted prior to registration being introduced.

Nightly treatment of primary insomnia with prolonged release melatonin for 6 months: a randomized placebo controlled trial on age and endogenous melatonin as predictors of efficacy and safety.
            (Wade et al., 2010) Download
BACKGROUND:  Melatonin is extensively used in the USA in a non-regulated manner for sleep disorders. Prolonged release melatonin (PRM) is licensed in Europe and other countries for the short term treatment of primary insomnia in patients aged 55 years and over. However, a clear definition of the target patient population and well-controlled studies of long-term efficacy and safety are lacking. It is known that melatonin production declines with age. Some young insomnia patients also may have low melatonin levels. The study investigated whether older age or low melatonin excretion is a better predictor of response to PRM, whether the efficacy observed in short-term studies is sustained during continued treatment and the long term safety of such treatment. METHODS:  Adult outpatients (791, aged 18-80 years) with primary insomnia, were treated with placebo (2 weeks) and then randomized, double-blind to 3 weeks with PRM or placebo nightly. PRM patients continued whereas placebo completers were re-randomized 1:1 to PRM or placebo for 26 weeks with 2 weeks of single-blind placebo run-out. Main outcome measures were sleep latency derived from a sleep diary, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Quality of Life (World Health Organzaton-5) Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) and adverse effects and vital signs recorded at each visit. RESULTS:  On the primary efficacy variable, sleep latency, the effects of PRM (3 weeks) in patients with low endogenous melatonin (6-sulphatoxymelatonin [6-SMT] <or=8 microg/night) regardless of age did not differ from the placebo, whereas PRM significantly reduced sleep latency compared to the placebo in elderly patients regardless of melatonin levels (-19.1 versus -1.7 min; P = 0.002). The effects on sleep latency and additional sleep and daytime parameters that improved with PRM were maintained or enhanced over the 6-month period with no signs of tolerance. Most adverse events were mild in severity with no clinically relevant differences between PRM and placebo for any safety outcome. CONCLUSIONS:  The results demonstrate short- and long-term efficacy and safety of PRM in elderly insomnia patients. Low melatonin production regardless of age is not useful in predicting responses to melatonin therapy in insomnia. The age cut-off for response warrants further investigation.

Prolonged release melatonin in the treatment of primary insomnia: evaluation of the age cut-off for short- and long-term response.
            (Wade et al., 2011) Download
OBJECTIVES:  The authors recently reported on efficacy and safety of prolonged-release melatonin formulation (PRM; Circadin 2  mg) in elderly insomnia patients. The age cut-off for response to PRM and the long-term maintenance of efficacy and safety were further evaluated by looking at the total cohort (age 18-80 years) from that study and subsets of patients aged 18-54 and 55-80 years (for whom the drug is currently indicated). DESIGN:  Randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. SETTING:  Multicentre, outpatients, primary care setting. METHODS:  A total of 930 males and females aged 18-80 years with primary insomnia who reported mean nightly sleep latency (SL) >20  min were enrolled and 791 entered the active phase of the study. The study comprised a 2-week, single-blind placebo run-in period followed by 3 week's double-blind treatment with PRM or placebo, one tablet per day at 2 hours before bedtime. PRM patients continued whereas placebo completers were re-randomised 1:1 to PRM or placebo for 26 weeks followed by 2-weeks run-out on placebo. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:  SL and other sleep variables derived from sleep diary, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Quality of life (WHO-5), Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) and adverse effects, recorded each visit, withdrawal and rebound effects during run-out. RESULTS:  In all, 746 patients completed the 3-week and 555 (421 PRM, 134 placebo) completed the 6-month period. The principal reason for drop-out was patient decision. At 3 weeks, significant differences in SL (diary, primary variable) in favour of PRM vs. placebo treatment were found for the 55-80-year group (-15.4 vs. -5.5  min, p = 0.014) but not the 18-80-year cut-off which included younger patients. Other variables (SL-PSQI, PSQI, WHO-5, CGI-I scores) improved significantly with PRM in the 18-80-year population, more so than in the 55-80-year age group. Improvements were maintained or enhanced over the 6-month period with no signs of tolerance. No withdrawal symptoms or rebound insomnia were detected. Most adverse events were mild with no significant differences between PRM and placebo groups in any safety outcome. CONCLUSIONS:  The results demonstrate short- and long-term efficacy of PRM in insomnia patients aged 18-80 years, particularly those aged 55 and over. PRM was well-tolerated over the entire 6-month period with no rebound or withdrawal symptoms following discontinuation. Study Registry No: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00397189.

 


References

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