Efficacy Of Oral Melatonin To Prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis

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    Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center
Updated on 12 August 2022


Prematurity is still one of the primary causes of death in children under 5. 1-2. According to the WHO, 60% of all preterm births occur in Asia, with the Philippines accounting for around 348,900 every year. 3. Necrotizing enterocolitis is one of the fatal complications (NEC) 3, 4. Preterm newborns weighing 1500 grams or less are considered high risk. 5-6.

Melatonin is one chemical that may help prevent NEC. Melatonin is an endogenous indolamine derived from serotonin. It is a ubiquitous molecule that is crucial to the body's physiologic function. Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is an immunomodulator, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenger7-10.

It is a naturally occurring chemical that is simply replenished. With this in mind, the researcher wants to see if providing high dose melatonin to premature babies can prevent NEC.


Prematurity remains as one of the leading causes of mortality among children less than 5 years old1-2. The World Health Organization that 60 percent of all preterm births around the world occurs in Asian countries and roughly 348,900 births occur each year in the Philippines3. One complication that contribute to the high mortality is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)1, 3-4. High risk population include preterm infants weighing 1500 grams and lower with inverse correlation to the patient's weight5-6.

One compound that could be used to prevent NEC is melatonin. Melatonin is an endogenously produced indolamine principally synthesized in the pineal gland from serotonin. It is described as a ubiquitous molecule which plays a vital role in the physiologic function of the body. Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine which has a a) immunomodulator; b) free radical scavenger; c) prevention of oxidative stress and d) anti-inflammatory7-10.

It is a naturally occurring substance and it would just be supplemented to increase its levels. With all this in mind, the researcher would like to determine if giving high dose melatonin among preterm neonates could prevent NEC among high risk population.

Condition Necrotizing enterocolitis
Treatment breast milk, Melatonin 6 MG
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05033639
SponsorIlocos Training and Regional Medical Center
Last Modified on12 August 2022

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