Use of Melatonin and/on Ramelteon for the Treatment of Insomnia in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Srujitha Marupuru, Daniel Arku, Ashley M. Campbell, Marion K. Slack, Jeannie K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To investigate the efficacy of melatonin and/or ramelteon reporting sleep outcomes for older adults with chronic insomnia, a systematic review and a meta-analysis of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, PsycINFO, science citation index, center for reviews and dissemination, CINAHL, grey literature and relevant sleep journal searches were conducted from 1 January 1990 to 20 June 2021. Randomized controlled trials and other comparative studies with melatonin and/or ramelteon use among older patients with chronic insomnia were included. Funnel plot and Egger’s test was used to determine publication bias. A forest plot was constructed to obtain a pooled standardized mean difference using either a fixed or random effects model for each of the two broad categories of sleep outcomes: objective and subjective. Of 5247 studies identified, 17 studies met the inclusion criteria for MA. Study sample size ranged from 10 to 829 with the mean age ≥55 years. There were significant improvements in total sleep time (objective), sleep latency and sleep quality (objective and subjective) for melatonin and/or ramelteon users compared with placebo. Sleep efficiency was not significantly different. The effects of these agents are modest but with limited safe treatment options for insomnia in older adults, these could be the drugs of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5138
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • and older adults
  • insomnia
  • melatonin
  • sleep outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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