Melatonin Versus Trazodone for the Treatment of New Onset Insomnia in Hospitalized Adult Patients

Link to article at PubMed

Hosp Pharm. 2023 Apr;58(2):165-170. doi: 10.1177/00185787221123213. Epub 2022 Sep 8.


Background: New-onset insomnia and other sleep disturbances occur more frequently in the inpatient setting due to a variety of physical and psychological factors. Studies have found that non-pharmacologic interventions can be effective in treating insomnia in the inpatient setting, particularly in the ICU, to prevent adverse outcomes, but further research is needed to identify optimal pharmacologic interventions. Objective: To compare treatment outcomes of patients initiated on melatonin and trazodone to treat new-onset insomnia in non-ICU hospitalized patients based on the need for an additional sleep aid therapy during hospitalization and to compare the rate of adverse events of each agent. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted for adult patients admitted to a non-ICU general medicine or surgical floor at a community teaching hospital between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Patients were included if they were initiated on scheduled melatonin or trazodone for the treatment of new onset insomnia during their hospitalization. Patients were excluded if they had a previous diagnosis of insomnia, were prescribed 2 sleep aids simultaneously, or if their admission medication reconciliation included pharmacologic treatment for insomnia. Clinical data collected included non-pharmacologic interventions, sleep aid dose, number of doses of sleep aid administered, and total number of nights an additional sleep aid was needed. The primary outcome was the percentage of patients needing additional therapy defined as, administering an additional sleep aid between 2100-0600 or utilizing more than 1 sleep aid agent during hospitalization compared between melatonin and trazodone. Secondary outcomes of this study included the rate of adverse events such as difficulty awakening, daytime sleepiness, serotonin syndrome, falls, and development of in hospital delirium. Results: Of 158 included patients, 132 received melatonin and 26 received trazodone. Male sex (53.8% [melatonin] vs. 53.8% [trazodone]; P = 1), hospital length of stay (7.7 vs 7.7 days; P = .68), and administration of drugs that could cause insomnia (34.1% vs 23.1%vs; P = .27) were similar between sleep aids. Percentage of patients needing an additional sleep aid during hospitalization (19.7% vs 34.6%; P = .09), and patients prescribed a sleep aid at discharge (39.4% vs 46.2%; P = .52) were similar between sleep aids, respectively. Rates of adverse events were similar between sleep aids. Conclusions: There was no significant difference between the 2 agents in terms of the primary outcome, even though a higher rate of patients treated with trazodone for new-onset insomnia during hospitalization required an additional sleep aid compared to those treated with melatonin. No difference in adverse events was observed.

PMID:36890954 | PMC:PMC9986572 | DOI:10.1177/00185787221123213

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