[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


DOI: 10.29090/psa.2023.04.23.522Pharm Sci Asia 2023; 50(4), 281-288

Efficacy of melatonin on mood disorders in cancer and cancer related diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Jannapas Tharavichitkun1,2, Poukwan Arunmanakul1,2, Unchalee Permsuwan1,2, Piyameth Dilokthornsakul1,2, Jirawit Yadee1,2,3, Buntitabhon Sirichanchuen1,2*

1 Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
2 Center for Medical and Health Technology Assessment (CM-HTA), Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
3 PhD Degree Program in Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The current meta-analysis sought to determine the efficacy of melatonin in improving mood disorders of patients with cancer and cancer-related illness. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in three electronic databases (EMBASE, PubMed and Cochrane) from inception to August 2022. Demographic data and mood outcomes such as depression (measured by Beck Depression Inventory Index (BDI) score) and emotional wellbeing outcome (measured by functional assessment of cancer therapy-Lung (FACT-L) scores) was extracted. The meta-analysis was conducted using a random effects model. A total of four RCTs with 966 participants were finally included for data analysis. Depression outcomes were found in three RCTs, and emotional wellbeing outcome was found in one RCT. For short term duration of treatment (<12 weeks), melatonin was associated with significantly reduced depression (WMD 3.67, 95% CI 1.41-5.98; p=0.002). However, long term duration of treatment (≥12 weeks) showed no difference in depression scores (WMD -0.072, 95% CI -0.42-0.28; p=0.68, I2=32.4%). For emotional wellbeing, melatonin was associated with significantly reduced long term treatment in 3 months (mean difference 1.05, SD 0.22, 95% CI 0.63-1.47; p<0.001) and 7 months (mean difference 2.41, SD 0.22, 95% CI 1.97-2.85; p<0.001). Adding melatonin treatment among patients with cancer significantly improved mood disorders depending on the duration of treatment. Depression improvement significantly showed in short term treatment. However, emotional wellbeing was improved in long term treatment.


Melatonin, Cancer, Moods, Depression, Emotional-wellbeing

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