Vol. 2 No. 6 (2022): June
Health Technology Reviews

Melatonin for the Treatment of Insomnia in Children and Adolescents

Published June 7, 2022

Key Messages

  • There is some evidence of benefit of melatonin compared with placebo for the short-term treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents with neurodisabilities.
  • The short-term safety profile of melatonin suggested that it was well-tolerated, although some severe adverse events may occur. There was a lack of long-term safety data.
  • The American Academy of Neurology guideline recommends high-grade melatonin should be prescribed for treatment of sleep disturbance in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder if first-line treatment with behavioural strategies is not helpful.
  • Evidence comparing the clinical effectiveness of melatonin with prescription sedatives for the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents was not identified.
  • No evidence was found regarding the cost-effectiveness of melatonin compared with placebo or prescription sedatives for the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents.