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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 133


Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Abdulaziz A Al-Quorain
P.O. Box 40001, Al-Khobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.142494

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How to cite this article:
Al-Quorain AA. Melatonin. Saudi J Med Med Sci 2014;2:133

How to cite this URL:
Al-Quorain AA. Melatonin. Saudi J Med Med Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Aug 6];2:133. Available from: https://www.sjmms.net/text.asp?2014/2/3/133/142494

Melatonin is gaining importance in many fields of medicine because of its potential. Research has shown beneficial effects of melatonin in a wide spectrum of diseases and health parameters. It received a justified attention from many researchers around the world.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. Its production and release is stimulated during the night and inhibited during the daytime. This hormone is believed to be involved in circadian rhythm. It is found in humans, animals, plants, and microbes. [1],[2],[3]

The melatonin biological effects are regulated by stimulation of its receptors. The Food and Drug Administration has categorized melatonin as a dietary supplement combined with other ingredients such as vitamins and herbal extracts, and it is not regulated as a pharmaceutical drug.

This hormone has various medical uses, namely; it might be beneficial in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, malignancy, immune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, depression, seasonal affected disorders, sexual dysfunction, jet-lag and in other conditions. It can also be used as premedication for laparoscopic surgery. [4],[5],[6]

The antioxidant property is an important function of this hormone. It is a direct scavenger of radical oxygen and nitrogen species. Melatonin has few side-effects if taken for a short period up to 3 months; these include somnolence, headache, mild anxiety, and abdominal discomfort. [7]

In this issue, Prof. Hani Mowafi is reviewing this hormone; its physiology, pharmacology and its uses in anesthesia and surgery.

  References Top

Hardeland R. Melatonin, hormone of darkness and more: Occurrence, control mechanisms, actions and bioactive metabolites. Cell Mol Life Sci 2008;65:2001-18.  Back to cited text no. 1
Reiter RJ. Melatonin: The chemical expression of darkness. Mol Cell Endocrinol 1991;79:C153-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Reiter RJ. The melatonin rhythm: Both a clock and a calendar. Experientia 1993;49:654-64.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kandil TS, Mousa AA, El-Gendy AA, Abbas AM. The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. BMC Gastroenterol 2010;10:7.  Back to cited text no. 4
"Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine): Evidence". Drugs and supplements. MayoClinic.com. 2012-09-01.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ionescu D, Badesco C, Vie A, Acalovschi I. Melatonin as premedication for laparoscopy and cholecystectomy: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study: Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia 2008;57:8-11.  Back to cited text no. 6
Poeggeler B, Saarela S, Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Chen LD, Manchester LC, et al. Melatonin - A highly potent endogenous radical scavenger and electron donor: New aspects of the oxidation chemistry of this indole accessed in vitro. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1994 17;738:419-20.  Back to cited text no. 7


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