Chemical: Drug
melatonin

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Overview

Generic Names
  • mel
  • mlt
  • n-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine
  • pineal hormone
Trade Names
  • Circadin
  • MT6
  • Mela-T
  • Melatol
  • Melatonex
  • Melatonin
  • Melatonine
  • Melovine
  • Nature'S Harmony
  • Night Rest
  • Revital Melatonin
  • Rx Balance
  • Sleep Right
  • Vivitas
Brand Mixture Names

PharmGKB Accession Id

PA164752558

Type(s):

Drug

Description

Melatonin is a biogenic amine that is found in animals, plants and microbes. Aaron B. Lerner of Yale University is credited for naming the hormone and for defining its chemical structure in 1958. In mammals, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is small endocrine gland, about the size of a rice grain and shaped like a pine cone (hence the name), that is located in the center of the brain (rostro-dorsal to the superior colliculus) but outside the blood-brain barrier. The secretion of melatonin increases in darkness and decreases during exposure to light, thereby regulating the circadian rhythms of several biological functions, including the sleep-wake cycle. In particular, melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature. Melatonin is also implicated in the regulation of mood, learning and memory, immune activity, dreaming, fertility and reproduction. Melatonin is also an effective antioxidant. Most of the actions of melatonin are mediated through the binding and activation of melatonin receptors. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may have lower than normal levels of melatonin. A 2008 study found that unaffected parents of individuals with ASD also have lower melatonin levels, and that the deficits were associated with low activity of the ASMT gene, which encodes the last enzyme of melatonin synthesis. Reduced melatonin production has also been proposed as a likely factor in the significantly higher cancer rates in night workers.

Source: Drug Bank

Indication

Used orally for jet lag, insomnia, shift-work disorder, circadian rhythm disorders in the blind (evidence for efficacy), and benzodiazepine and nicotine withdrawal. Evidence indicates that melatonin is likely effective for treating circadian rhythm sleep disorders in blind children and adults. It has received FDA orphan drug status as an oral medication for this use. A number of studies have shown that melatonin may be effective for treating sleep-wake cycle disturbances in children and adolescents with mental retardation, autism, and other central nervous system disorders. It appears to decrease the time to fall asleep in children with developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, autism, and mental retardation. It may also improve secondary insomnia associated with various sleep-wake cycle disturbances. Other possible uses for which there is some evidence for include: benzodiazepine withdrawal, cluster headache, delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), primary insomnia, jet lag, nicotine withdrawal, preoperative anxiety and sedation, prostate cancer, solid tumors (when combined with IL-2 therapy in certain cancers), sunburn prevention (topical use), tardive dyskinesia, thrombocytopenia associated with cancer, chemotherapy and other disorders.

Source: Drug Bank

Other Vocabularies

Information pulled from DrugBank has not been reviewed by PharmGKB.

Pharmacology, Interactions, and Contraindications

Mechanism of Action

Melatonin is a derivative of tryptophan. It binds to melatonin receptor type 1A, which then acts on adenylate cylcase and the inhibition of a cAMP signal transduction pathway. Melatonin not only inhibits adenylate cyclase, but it also activates phosphilpase C. This potentiates the release of arachidonate. By binding to melatonin receptors 1 and 2, the downstream signallling cascades have various effects in the body. The melatonin receptors are G protein-coupled receptors and are expressed in various tissues of the body. There are two subtypes of the receptor in humans, melatonin receptor 1 (MT1) and melatonin receptor 2 (MT2). Melatonin and melatonin receptor agonists, on market or in clinical trials, all bind to and activate both receptor types.The binding of the agonists to the receptors has been investigated for over two decades or since 1986. It is somewhat known, but still not fully understood. When melatonin receptor agonists bind to and activate their receptors it causes numerous physiological processes.
MT1 receptors are expressed in many regions of the central nervous system (CNS): suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (SNC), hippocampus, substantia nigra, cerebellum, central dopaminergic pathways, ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens. MT1 is also expressed in the retina, ovary, testis, mammary gland, coronary circulation and aorta, gallbladder, liver, kidney, skin and the immune system. MT2 receptors are expressed mainly in the CNS, also in the lung, cardiac, coronary and aortic tissue, myometrium and granulosa cells, immune cells, duodenum and adipocytes.
The binding of melatonin to melatonin receptors activates a few signaling pathways. MT1 receptor activation inhibits the adenylyl cyclase and its inhibition causes a rippling effect of non activation; starting with decreasing formation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and then progressing to less protein kinase A (PKA) activity, which in turn hinders the phosphorilation of cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB binding protein) into P-CREB. MT1 receptors also activate phospholipase C (PLC), affect ion channels and regulate ion flux inside the cell. The binding of melatonin to MT2 receptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase which decreases the formation of cAMP.4 As well it hinders guanylyl cyclase and therefore the forming of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Binding to MT2 receptors probably affects PLC which increases protein kinase C (PKC) activity. Activation of the receptor can lead to ion flux inside the cell.

Source: Drug Bank

Pharmacology

Melatonin is a hormone normally produced in the pineal gland and released into the blood. The essential amino acid L-tryptophan is a precursor in the synthesis of melatonin. It helps regulate sleep-wake cycles or the circadian rhythm. Production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. High levels of melatonin induce sleep and so consumption of the drug can be used to combat insomnia and jet lag.
MT1 and MT2 receptors may be a target for the treatment of circadian and non circadian sleep disorders because of their differences in pharmacology and function within the SCN. SCN is responsible for maintaining the 24 hour cycle which regulates many different body functions ranging from sleep to immune functions

Source: Drug Bank

Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Elimination & Toxicity

Biotransformation

Hepatically metabolized to at least 14 identified metabolites (identified in mouse urine): 6-hydroxymelatonin glucuronide, 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate, N-acetylserotonin glucuronide, N-acetylserotonin sulfate, 6-hydroxymelatonin, 2-oxomelatonin, 3-hydroxymelatonin, melatonin glucuronide, cyclic melatonin, cyclic N-acetylserotonin glucuronide, cyclic 6-hydroxymelatonin, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetaldehyde, di-hydroxymelatonin and its glucuronide conjugate. 6-Hydroxymelatonin glucuronide is the major metabolite found in mouse urine (65-88% of total melatonin metabolites in urine).

Source: Drug Bank

Protein Binding

n/a

Source: Drug Bank

Absorption

The absorption and bioavailability of melatonin varies widely.

Source: Drug Bank

Half-Life

35 to 50 minutes

Source: Drug Bank

Toxicity

<p>Generally well-tolerated when taken orally. The most common side effects, day-time drowsiness, headache and dizziness, appear to occur at the same frequency as with placebo. Other reported side effects include transient depressive symptoms, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and hypotension. Safety in Adults: Evidence indicates that it is likely safe to use in oral and parenteral forms for up to two months when used appropriately. Some evidence indicates that it can be safely used orally for up to 9 months in some patients. It is also likely safe to use topically when used appropriately. Safety in Children: Melatonin appeared to be used safely in small numbers of children enrolled in short-term clinical trials. However, concerns regarding safety in children have arisen based on their developmental state. Compared to adults over 20 years of age, people under 20 produce high levels of melatonin. Melatonin levels are inversely related to gonadal development and it is thought that exogenous administration of melatonin may adversely affect gonadal development. Safety during Pregnancy: High doses of melatonin administered orally or parenterally may inhibit ovulation. Not advised for use in individuals who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Safety during Lactation: Not recommended as safety has not be established.</p>
<p>Oral, rat: LD 50 >=3200 mg/kg</p>

Source: Drug Bank

Chemical Properties

Chemical Formula

C13H16N2O2

Source: Drug Bank

Isomeric SMILES

CC(=O)NCCC1=CNC2=C1C=C(C=C2)OC

Source: Drug Bank

COC1=CC2=C(NC=C2CCNC(C)=O)C=C1

Source: Drug Bank

Canonical SMILES

COC1=CC2=C(NC=C2CCNC(C)=O)C=C1

Source: Drug Bank

Average Molecular Weight

232.2783

Source: Drug Bank

Monoisotopic Molecular Weight

232.121177766

Source: Drug Bank

SMILES

COC1=CC2=C(NC=C2CCNC(C)=O)C=C1

Source: Drug Bank

InChI String

InChI=1S/C13H16N2O2/c1-9(16)14-6-5-10-8-15-13-4-3-11(17-2)7-12(10)13/h3-4,7-8,15H,5-6H2,1-2H3,(H,14,16)

Source: Drug Bank

Genes that are associated with this drug in PharmGKB's database based on (1) variant annotations, (2) literature review, (3) pathways or (4) information automatically retrieved from DrugBank, depending on the "evidence" and "source" listed below.

Drug Targets

Gene Description
ASMT (source: Drug Bank)
BCL2 (source: Drug Bank)
CALM3 (source: Drug Bank)
CALR (source: Drug Bank)
CASP3 (source: Drug Bank)
CYCS (source: Drug Bank)
EPX (source: Drug Bank)
ESR1 (source: Drug Bank)
MPO (source: Drug Bank)
MTNR1A (source: Drug Bank)
MTNR1B (source: Drug Bank)
NQO2 (source: Drug Bank)
RORB (source: Drug Bank)
SNCA (source: Drug Bank)

Drug Interactions

Interaction Description
melatonin - nifedipine Melatonin can possibly decrease the effect of nifedipine (source: Drug Bank)
melatonin - nifedipine Melatonin can possibly decrease the effect of nifedipine (source: Drug Bank)
nifedipine - melatonin Melatonin can possibly decrease the effect of nifedipine (source: Drug Bank)
nifedipine - melatonin Melatonin can possibly decrease the effect of nifedipine (source: Drug Bank)

Curated Information ?

Relationships from National Drug File - Reference Terminology (NDF-RT)

May Treat
May Prevent

Publications related to melatonin: 1

No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available No Clinical Annotation available No Variant Annotation available No VIP available No VIP available
Use of transdermal melatonin delivery to improve sleep maintenance during daytime. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. 2009. Aeschbach D, et al. PubMed

LinkOuts

Web Resource:
Wikipedia
DrugBank:
DB01065
PDB:
ML1
ChEBI:
16796
KEGG Compound:
C01598
PubChem Compound:
896
PubChem Substance:
149246
46509101
IUPHAR Ligand:
1357
224
Drugs Product Database (DPD):
793167
BindingDB:
9019
ChemSpider:
872
HET:
ML1
Therapeutic Targets Database:
DAP000429

Clinical Trials

These are trials that mention melatonin and are related to either pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics.

No trials loaded.

NURSA Datasets

provided by nursa.org

No NURSA datasets available.

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Sources for PharmGKB drug information: DrugBank, PubChem.