Sleep disorders are a widespread, persistent problem among alcohol-dependent patients and have been implicated in an increased risk for alcohol relapse. The melatonin-agonist agomelatine has been shown to improve overall sleep quality without daytime sedation.
In an off-label therapeutic setting, 9 alcohol-dependent patients with chronic sleep disorders received nightly doses of between 25 and 50 mg of agomelatine.
After 6 weeks of agomelatine treatment, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index global score for all patients had decreased significantly from a mean (SD) of 13.1 (1.7) to 7.8 (1.7) (t = 12.8; P = 0.00).
Agomelatine is a preparation that is not prone to abuse. The current pilot investigation shows that agomelatine might offer the prospect of becoming a valuable addition to the pharmacological repertoire for the treatment of alcohol-dependence–associated insomnia.
*Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim, University of Heidelberg/Medical Faculty, Mannheim, Germany; and †Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Authors Grosshans and Mutschler contributed equally to this work.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Martin Grosshans, MD, Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, J5/68159 Mannheim, Germany; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org