Low-dose melatonin for sleep disturbances in early-stage cirrhosis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Low-dose melatonin for sleep disturbances in early-stage cirrhosis: A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial.
JGH Open. 2020 Aug ;4(4):749-756. Epub 2020 May 18. PMID: 32782966
Arjuna P De Silva
Background and aim: Melatonin is used to treat sleep disturbances (SDs). The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of low-dose melatonin for SDs in early-stage cirrhosis.
Methods: In a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over clinical trial, patients with early-stage (Child-Turcotte-Pugh [CTP] class A or B) cirrhosis with SDs, without hepatic encephalopathy, were randomized to placebo or 3 mg of melatonin for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the patients were given a washout period of 1 week and crossed over to melatonin or placebo for a further 2 weeks. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were used to measure sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, respectively. Analysis of results was based on intention to treat, and linear mixed-effect models were used to evaluate the effect of melatonin. Analysis was conducted using R-programming language 3.5.1.
Results: Seventy one patients were recruited (mean age: 61.9 ± 8.7 years, males: 46 [64.8%], and CTP Class A = 52 [73.2%] and Class B = 19 [26.8%]). Sixty patients completed the study (mean age: 61.7 ± 8.8 years, males: 40 [66.6%], and CTP Class A = 45 [75.0%] and Class-B = 15 [25.0%]). Two patients dropped out due to adverse events. Nine patients were lost to follow up. Patients given melatonin had a significantly lower PSQI and ESS compared to both pretreatment ( < 0.001) and postplacebo scores ( < 0.001). Incidence of adverse events was similar (two each of abdominal pain, one each of headache, one each of dizziness) in both groups.
Conclusion: Melatonin seems safe and effective for use in patients with SDs in early-stage cirrhosis in the short term. However, larger and longer-term studies to assess efficacy and safety are required before its clinical use can be recommended.