Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Controlled Clinical Trial
. 2010 Jan 18;10:7.
doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-10-7.

The Potential Therapeutic Effect of Melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease

Free PMC article
Controlled Clinical Trial

The Potential Therapeutic Effect of Melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease

Tharwat S Kandil et al. BMC Gastroenterol. .
Free PMC article


Background: Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) defined as a condition that develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications. Many drugs are used for the treatment of GERD such as omeprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) which is a widely used antiulcer drug demonstrated to protect against esophageal mucosal injury. Melatonin has been found to protect the gastrointestinal mucosa from oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species in different experimental ulcer models. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of exogenous melatonin in the treatment of reflux disease in humans either alone or in combination with omeprazole therapy.

Methods: 36 persons were divided into 4 groups (control subjects, patients with reflux disease treated with melatonin alone, omeprazole alone and a combination of melatonin and omeprazole for 4 and 8 weeks) Each group consisted of 9 persons. Persons were subjected to thorough history taking, clinical examination, and investigations including laboratory, endoscopic, record of esophageal motility, pH-metry, basal acid output and serum gastrin.

Results: Melatonin has a role in the improvement of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease when used alone or in combination with omeprazole. Meanwhile, omeprazole alone is better used in the treatment of GERD than melatonin alone.

Conclusion: The present study showed that oral melatonin is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of GERD. It is an effective line of treatment in relieving epigastric pain and heartburn. However, further studies are required to confirm the efficacy and long-term safety of melatonin before being recommended for routine clinical use.

Trial registration: QA13NCT00915616.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Vakil N, VanZanten S, Dent J, Kahrilas P, Jones R. The definition of GERD: A global evidence-based consensus. Gastroenterology. 2005. pp. 130A–394. [#M2010]
    1. Locke GR, Talley NJ, Fett SL. et al. Prevalence and clinical spectrum of gastroesophageal reflux:a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Gastroenterology. 1997;112:1448–56. doi: 10.1016/S0016-5085(97)70025-8. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Messner M, Huether G, Lorf T, Ramadori G, Schworer H. Presence of melatonin in the human hepatobiliary - gastrointestinal tract. Life Sci. 2001;69:543–551. doi: 10.1016/S0024-3205(01)01143-2. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Motilva V, Cabeza J, Alarcon de la Lastra C. New issues about melatonin and its effects on the digestive system. Curre Pharm Des. 2001;7:909–931. doi: 10.2174/1381612013397681. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Huether G. The contribution of extrapineal sites of melatonin synthesis to circulating melatonin levels in higher vertebrates. Experientia. 1993;49:665–670. doi: 10.1007/BF01923948. - DOI - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Associated data