We systematically reviewed randomised controlled trials of peri-operative melatonin. We included 24 studies of 1794 participants that reported eight peri-operative outcomes: anxiety; analgesia; sleep quality; oxidative stress; emergence behaviour; anaesthetic requirements; steal induction; and safety. Compared with placebo, melatonin reduced the standardised mean difference (95% CI) pre-operative anxiety score by 0.88 (0.44-1.33) and postoperative pain score by 1.06 (0.23-1.88). The magnitude of effect was unreliable due to substantial statistical heterogeneity, with I(2) 87% and 94%, respectively. Qualitative reviews suggested the melatonin improved sleep quality and emergence behaviour, and might be capable of reducing oxidative stress and anaesthetic requirements.
Journal review article
Anaesthesia (oxford), 2014, Vol 69, Issue 10, p. 1163-1171