Stability of melatonin in aqueous solution

J Pineal Res. 1995 Mar;18(2):90-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079x.1995.tb00145.x.


Melatonin solutions are frequently used in human, animal, and in vitro research. Generally, fresh solutions are prepared, for fear of instability of melatonin in solution. We tested the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) stability of melatonin in aqueous solutions stored room temperature, 4 degrees C, and -70 degrees C for up to 6 months. Solutions were prepared in a laminar flow hood using sterile technique, directly into sterile, pyrogen-free glass vacuum vials for storage. Different concentrations were tested (1.0-113.0 micrograms/ml). There was no loss of potency as assessed by HPLC, and the preparations remained sterile and pyrogen-free. We conclude that melatonin solutions may be prepared in batches maintained in sterile, pyrogen-free vials at 4 degrees C or at -70 degrees C until use within 6 months. This method will save on research time used for preparation of fresh solutions and will reduce the number of dose validation tests for each new experiment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cold Temperature
  • Drug Stability
  • Hot Temperature
  • Melatonin / analysis
  • Melatonin / chemistry*
  • Solutions
  • Time Factors
  • Water


  • Solutions
  • Water
  • Melatonin