Efficacy and safety of oral melatonin in patients with severe COVID-19: a randomized controlled trial

Inflammopharmacology. 2023 Feb;31(1):265-274. doi: 10.1007/s10787-022-01096-7. Epub 2022 Nov 19.


Patients with COVID-19 have shown melatonin deficiency. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of administration oral melatonin in patients with COVID-19-induced pneumonia. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive melatonin plus standard treatment or standard treatment alone. The primary outcomes were mortality rate and requirement of IMV. The clinical status of patients was recorded at baseline and every day over hospitalization based on seven-category ordinal scale from 1 (discharged) to 7 (death). A total of 226 patients (109 in the melatonin group and 117 in the control group) were enrolled (median age; in melatonin group: 54.60 ± 11.51, in control group: 54.69 ± 13.40). The mortality rate was 67% in the melatonin group and 94% in the control group (OR; 7.75, 95% CI, 3.27-18.35, P < 0.001). The rate of IMV requirement was 51.4% in the melatonin group and 70.9% in the control group, for an OR of 2.31 (95% CI, 1.34-4.00, P < 0.001). The median number of days to hospital discharge was 15 days (13-17) in the melatonin group and 21 days (14-24) in the control group (OR; 5.00, 95% CI, 0.15-9.84, P = 0.026). Time to clinical status improvement by ≥ 2 on the ordinal scale in was 12 days (9-13) in the melatonin group and 16 days (10-19) in the control group (OR; 3.92, 95% CI, 1.69-6.14, P = 0.038). Melatonin significantly improved clinical status with a safe profile in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

Keywords: Antioxidant; COVID-19; Cytokine storm; Inflammation; Melatonin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Melatonin*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Melatonin