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Possible Role of Exogenous Melatonin and Melatonin-Receptor-Agonists in the Treatment of Menopause―Associated Sleep Disturbances

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DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2014.46047    3,291 Downloads   4,588 Views  

ABSTRACT

One of the core symptoms of the menopausal transition is sleep disturbance. Peri-menopausal women often complain of difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep with frequent nocturnal and early morning awakenings. Factors that may play a role in this type of insomnia include vasomotor symptoms and changing reproductive hormone levels, circadian rhythm abnormalities, primary insomnia, mood disorders, coexistent medical conditions, and lifestyle. Exogenous melatonin reportedly induces drowsiness and sleep, and may ameliorate sleep disturbances, including the nocturnal awakenings associated with old age and the menopausal transition. Recently, more potent melatonin analogs with prolonged effects and slow-release melatonin preparations have been developed. The melatonergic receptor ramelteon is a selective melatonin-1 (MT1) and melatonin-2 (MT2) receptor agonist with negligible affinity for other neuronal receptors, including gamma-aminobutyric acid and benzodiazepine receptors. It was found effective in increasing total sleep time and sleep efficiency, as well as in reducing sleep latency, in insomnia patients. The melatonergic antidepressant agomelatine, displaying potent MT1 and MT2 melatonergic agonism and relatively weak serotonin 5HT2C receptor antagonism, reportedly is effective in the treatment of depression associated insomnia. This article presents the currently available evidence regarding the effects of these compounds on sleep quality and their possible use in menopause associated sleep disturbances.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Brzezinski, A. (2014) Possible Role of Exogenous Melatonin and Melatonin-Receptor-Agonists in the Treatment of Menopause―Associated Sleep Disturbances. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 4, 309-320. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2014.46047.

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