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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 1209-1220;

Analgesic, Anxiolytic and Anaesthetic Effects of Melatonin: New Potential Uses in Pediatrics

Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Paediatrics, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, Messina 98125, Italy
Unit of Paediatric Genetics and Immunology, Department of Paediatrics, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria 1, Messina 98125, Italy
Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 40729, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guido R. M. M. Haenen
Received: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 December 2014 / Published: 6 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant 2.0——Redox Modulation by Food and Drugs)
Full-Text   |   PDF [664 KB, uploaded 6 January 2015]


Exogenous melatonin is used in a number of situations, first and foremost in the treatment of sleep disorders and jet leg. However, the hypnotic, antinociceptive, and anticonvulsant properties of melatonin endow this neurohormone with the profile of a drug that modulates effects of anesthetic agents, supporting its potential use at different stages during anesthetic procedures, in both adults and children. In light of these properties, melatonin has been administered to children undergoing diagnostic procedures requiring sedation or general anesthesia, such as magnetic resonance imaging, auditory brainstem response tests and electroencephalogram. Controversial data support the use of melatonin as anxiolytic and antinociceptive agents in pediatric patients undergoing surgery. The aim of this review was to evaluate available evidence relating to efficacy and safety of melatonin as an analgesic and as a sedative agent in children. Melatonin and its analogs may have a role in antinociceptive therapies and as an alternative to midazolam in premedication of adults and children, although its effectiveness is still controversial and available data are clearly incomplete. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin; pain; anxiety; premedication; anaesthesia; children melatonin; pain; anxiety; premedication; anaesthesia; children
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Marseglia, L.; D'Angelo, G.; Manti, S.; Aversa, S.; Arrigo, T.; Reiter, R.J.; Gitto, E. Analgesic, Anxiolytic and Anaesthetic Effects of Melatonin: New Potential Uses in Pediatrics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 1209-1220.

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