Analgesic effects of melatonin

A review of current evidence from experimental and clinical studies

Michael Wilhelmsen, Ilda Amirian, Russel J Reiter, Jacob Rosenberg, Ismail Gögenur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Melatonin is an endogenous indoleamine, produced mainly by the pineal gland. Melatonin has been proven to have chronobiotic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, anxiolytic and sedative properties. There are also experimental and clinical data supporting an analgesic role of melatonin. In experimental studies, melatonin shows potent analgesic effects in a dose-dependent manner. In clinical studies, melatonin has been shown to have analgesic benefits in patients with chronic pain (fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine). The physiologic mechanism underlying the analgesic actions of melatonin has not been clarified. The effects may be linked to G i-coupled melatonin receptors, to G i-coupled opioid μ-receptors or GABA-B receptors with unknown downstream changes with a consequential reduction in anxiety and pain. Also, the repeated administration of melatonin improves sleep and thereby may reduce anxiety, which leads to lower levels of pain. In this paper, we review the current evidence regarding the analgesic properties of melatonin in animals and humans with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pineal Research
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Melatonin
Analgesics
Chronic Pain
Anxiety
Melatonin Receptors
GABA-B Receptors
Pain
Pineal Gland
Fibromyalgia
Clinical Studies
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Opioid Receptors
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Migraine Disorders
Antihypertensive Agents
Sleep
Antioxidants

Keywords

  • analgesia
  • anxiety
  • chronic pain
  • melatonin
  • sedation
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Analgesic effects of melatonin : A review of current evidence from experimental and clinical studies. / Wilhelmsen, Michael; Amirian, Ilda; Reiter, Russel J; Rosenberg, Jacob; Gögenur, Ismail.

In: Journal of Pineal Research, Vol. 51, No. 3, 10.2011, p. 270-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wilhelmsen, Michael ; Amirian, Ilda ; Reiter, Russel J ; Rosenberg, Jacob ; Gögenur, Ismail. / Analgesic effects of melatonin : A review of current evidence from experimental and clinical studies. In: Journal of Pineal Research. 2011 ; Vol. 51, No. 3. pp. 270-277.
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