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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evaluation of plasma levels of melatonin after midazolam or sodium thiopental anesthesia in children.

Midazolam and sodium thiopental are two commonly used drugs in anesthesia for minor surgical procedures in children. A relationship exists between benzodiazepines (BNZ), barbiturates and melatonin. Whereas these drugs increase pineal melatonin production, the indoleamine amplifies the effects of both BNZ and barbiturates on the central nervous system (CNS). Our purpose was thus to analyze the plasma levels of melatonin before and during midazolam or sodium thiopental anesthesia in children subjected to ambulatory surgical procedures. Midazolam (0.4 mg/kg) or sodium thiopental (5 mg/kg) were administered i.v. to 33 and 32 children (aged between 2 and 14 yr), respectively, and blood samples were taken before and 5, 10 and 20 min after the drugs were administered. Melatonin was measured in plasma by a commercial radioimmunoassay kit previously standardized in our laboratory. The results showed that neither midazolam nor sodium thiopental anesthesia significantly affected the levels of melatonin studied at anytime. Significant correlations were found comparing the levels of melatonin between the different times studied. These results suggest that midazolam or sodium thiopental did not affect melatonin production by the pineal gland, thus avoiding a possible potentiating effect of the indoleamine on the central effects of these drugs during anesthesia. However, the possibility that changes in melatonin had been masked by the antioxidant role of the neurohormone are discussed.[1]


  1. Evaluation of plasma levels of melatonin after midazolam or sodium thiopental anesthesia in children. Muñoz-Hoyos, A., Heredia, F., Moreno, F., García, J.J., Molina-Carballo, A., Escames, G., Acuña-Castroviejo, D. J. Pineal Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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