Therapeutic effect of melatonin in patients with functional dyspepsia

[Note: the patients in this study had pain in the “upper stomach” like that associated with stomach ulcers, but no Helicobacter pylori infection – a bacterial ulcer risk factor treated with antibiotics and other medications.]

Journal: Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2007. Mar;41(3):270-274.

Authors and affiliation: Klupinska G, Poplawski T, Drzewoski J, Harasiuk A, Reiter RJ, Blasiak J, Chojnacki J. Department of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.

PMID: 17426465

Background and goal:

  • Melatonin may inhibit reactive oxygen species-related pathogenesis in the alimentary tract by neutralizing free radicals.
  • In the present study we assessed the potential protective action of melatonin in ulcerlike dyspepsia.

Study:

Sixty patients aged 19 to 39 years with the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia according to the Rome Criteria II [information for clinicians on functional gastrointestinal disorders] and no Helicobacter pylori infection were involved in the study.

Melatonin, at a dose of 5 mg (n=30), or placebo (n=30) were taken in the evening for a period of 12 weeks.

At this time, patients were on an equivalent diet and were only to take an alkaline drug in case of the abdominal pain.

Results:

  • After 12 weeks, the dyspeptic symptoms completely subsided in 17 patients in the melatonin-treatment group (56.6%). In other 9 individuals (30.0%) a partial improvement in health was achieved, especially in the frequency and intensity of nocturnal pain.
  • After placebo, the majority of patients (93.3%) did not experience any improvement in symptoms.
  • Multivariate analysis indicated that melatonin (odds ratio 95.86, 95% confidence interval 3.72-2469.37, P<0.01) correlated independently with significantly improved patients health.
  • H. pylori past infection decreased positive effect of melatonin in ulcerlike dyspepsia.

Conclusion: Melatonin can be considered as an auxiliary drug in the treatment of ulcerlike dyspepsia.

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