Melatonin Analogues May Help Treat DepressionLast Updated: May 18, 2011. Melatonin analogues, including agomelatine, may help in the treatment of depression and may help restore circadian function, according to a review published online May 18 in The Lancet.
WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Melatonin analogues, including agomelatine, may help in the treatment of depression and may help restore circadian function, according to a review published online May 18 in The Lancet.
Ian B. Hickie, M.D., of the University of Sydney, and Naomi L. Rogers, Ph.D., of Central Queensland University in Mackay -- both in Australia, conducted a literature review to identify associations between disrupted chronobiology and major depression, and the utility of melatonin and its analogues, especially agomelatine, in its treatment.
The investigators found that, in the short term, the antidepressant efficiency of agomelatine was similar to venlafaxine, fluoxetine, and sertraline. In the longer term, fewer patients treated with agomelatine relapsed (23.9 percent) compared to those on placebo (50 percent). Agomelatine therapy was also associated with an improvement in sleep quality and less waking after the onset of sleep. No increase in serotonin levels was seen with agomelatine, so there may be less potential for common gastrointestinal, sexual, or metabolic side effects than seen with many other antidepressants. Adverse effects, including nausea, dizziness, and headache were reported, but with a rate similar to those receiving placebo.
"Because of its favorable adverse effect and safety profile, and the potential to help restore circadian function between depressive episodes, this drug might occupy a unique place in the management of some patients with severe depression and other major mood disorders," the authors write.
The study authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Servier, the manufacturer of agomelatine.
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