Infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units are repeatedly stimulated by painful events, especially if intubated. Preterm infants are known to have greater pain perception than full term infants due to immaturity of descending inhibitory circuits and poor noxious inhibitory modulation. Newborns exposed to repetitive painful stimuli are at high risk of impairments in brain development and cognition. Chronic pain is induced and supported by proinflammatory cytokines, free radicals, and reactive oxygen species creating a self- sustaining vicious circle. Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. This review describes the in-depth beneficial effects of melatonin for pain control in ventilated preterm newborns. As yet, a minimal amount of literature has been undertaken to consider all its promising bioactivities. The rationale behind the use of melatonin for pain control has also been taken into account in this review. Besides, this review addresses safety concerns and dosages. The potential benefits of melatonin have been assessed against neurological disorders, respiratory distress, microbial infections, and as analgesic adjuvant during ventilation. Additionally, a possible approach for the use of melatonin in ventilated newborns will be discussed.
Potential benefits of melatonin to control pain in ventilated preterm newborns: An updated review / Cannavo, L.; Perrone, S.; Marseglia, L.; Viola, V.; Di Rosa, G.; Gitto, E.. - In: PAIN PRACTICE. - ISSN 1530-7085. - (2021), pp. 1-7. [10.1111/papr.13069]
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