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Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Jul;45(1):23-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2011.02.001.

Prolonged-release melatonin for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Department of Genetics, Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, France.


Previous studies demonstrated the efficacy and safety of prolonged-release melatonin in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders. The long-term effectiveness and safety of prolonged-release melatonin treatment were assessed in 88 children (42 girls and 46 boys) with neurodevelopmental disorders. These patients participated in a compassionate-use program with the drug Circadin (2 mg; Neurim Pharmaceuticals, Tel Aviv, Israel) in France, and received treatment in the context of regular care by a specialized physician. The study involved a structured questionnaire for the parents, comprising a combination of multiple-choice and numeric questions addressing sleep onset/offset, sleep quality problems, and mood. The dose of melatonin ranged from 4-6 mg, and treatment duration ranged from 6-72 months. Within 3 months, sleep latency with prolonged-release melatonin decreased by 44.0% (P < 0.001), sleep duration increased by 10.1% (P < 0.001), the number of awakenings decreased by 75% (P < 0.001), and sleep quality improved by 75%, compared with baseline (P < 0.001). No serious adverse events or treatment-related comorbidities were reported. Prolonged-release melatonin remains a safe, effective therapy for the long-term treatment of sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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