Objective: We investigated the effects of prolonged-release melatonin (PRM) on idiopathic rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (iRBD).
Methods: In this 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, 30 participants with polysomnography-confirmed iRBD were assigned to receive PRM 2 mg per day, PRM 6 mg per day, or placebo. Medication was administered orally 30 min before bedtime. Primary outcomes included scores from the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) and the Korean version of the RBD questionnaire-Hong Kong (RBDQ-KR). The secondary outcomes included RBDQ-KR factor 1 and factor 2 subscores, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, the Short Form Health Survey version 2 score, and the frequency of dream-enacting behaviors assessed using a sleep diary.
Results: After 4 weeks, there were no differences in the proportions of patients with a CGI-I score of much improved or very much improved among the study groups. In addition, RBDQ-KR scores and secondary outcomes were not improved in all groups at 4 weeks, and there were no differences between the groups.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that PRM may not be effective in treating RBD-related symptoms within the dose range used in this study. Further studies using doses higher than 6 mg per day are warranted.