Oral Substitution of Melatonin in Critical Care: A Pharmacokinetic Study in Patients with Intracranial Hemorrhage
Background: Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating condition with a high mortality and morbidity rate. Neuroprotective agents protect surrounding brain tissue from the toxic effects of hematoma and can result in better outcomes. There is evidence demonstrating the neuroprotective benefits of melatonin in experimental animal models of ICH. Reduced melatonin levels have been reported in the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate baseline melatonin levels and pharmacokinetic profile of melatonin in ICH patients.
Methods: This was a randomized clinical trial in which 24 patients with non-traumatic ICH were divided into melatonin and control groups. Subjects in the melatonin group received 30 mg of melatonin for 5 days. Another group of 12 healthy volunteers also were recruited for the study. Baseline serum melatonin levels were measured for all groups. For the pharmacokinetic study, sampling intervals were 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.5, 3, 6 and 10 hours after melatonin administration. Samples were analyzed using an HPLC system with fluorescence detection.
Results: Serum melatonin concentrations found to be decreased in all patients. Patients showed a significant increase in levels by the third day but still lower than healthy volunteers. By day 5, the melatonin group reaches melatonin levels, statistically similar to healthy volunteers, but the control group didn't reach normal levels even on the seventh day of study.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that monitoring melatonin levels and supplementing with exogenous melatonin can correct the reduced levels. Further studies focused on melatonin administration in ICH patients can be helpful in evaluating clinical outcomes in these patients.
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