Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;26(7):687-94. doi: 10.1002/gps.2582. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Melatonin decreases delirium in elderly patients: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine-Geriatrics, UWO, Canada. dr_tareef@yahoo.com

Erratum in

  • Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 May;29(5):550.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Disturbance in the metabolism of tryptophan and tryptophan-derived compounds (e.g., melatonin) may have a role in the pathogenesis of delirium.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy of low dose exogenous melatonin in decreasing delirium.

DESIGN:

A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study.

SETTING:

An Internal Medicine service in a tertiary care centre in London, Ontario, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS:

145 individuals aged 65 years or over admitted through the emergency department to a medical unit in a tertiary care hospital.

INTERVENTION:

Patients were randomized to receive either 0.5 mg of melatonin or placebo every night for 14 days or until discharge.

MEASUREMENTS:

The primary outcome was the occurrence of delirium as determined by Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) criteria.

RESULTS:

Of a total of 145 individuals (mean age (standard deviation): 84.5 (6.1) years) 72 were randomly assigned to the melatonin group and 73 to the placebo group. Melatonin was associated with a lower risk of delirium (12.0% vs. 31.0%, p = 0.014), with an odds ratio (OR), adjusted for dementia and co-morbidities of 0.19 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.06-0.62). Results were not different when patients with prevalent delirium were excluded.

LIMITATION:

An intention to treat analysis was not possible due to loss to follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Exogenous low dose melatonin administered nightly to elderly patients admitted to acute care may represent a potential protective agent against delirium.

PMID:
20845391
DOI:
10.1002/gps.2582
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center