Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland. It is widely present in both plant and animal sources. In several countries, it is sold over the counter as tablets and as food supplement or additive. Currently, it is most often used to prevent jet lag and to induce sleep. It has been and is being used in several clinical trials with different therapeutic approaches. It has sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and chronobiotic effects. In the present review, the potential therapeutic benefits of melatonin in anaesthesia and critical care are presented. This article aims to review the physiological properties of melatonin and how these could prove useful for several clinical applications in perioperative management, critical care and pain medicine. The topic was handsearched from textbooks and journals and electronically from PubMed, and Google scholar using text words.
Keywords: Anaesthesia, antioxidant, chronic pain, critical care, hypnosis, melatonin, oral pre-medication, perioperative role, sepsis management