Melatonin Reduces Pain And Anxiety In Blood Draws For Pediatric Patients

Many medical procedures for children can cause a lot of anxiety, in particular getting needles. Many efforts have been put in place in order to relieve some of the anxiety and pain but researchers in Denver, Colorado were curious to see if melatonin could be effective.

Sixty children aged one to fourteen requiring blood draws were randomly assigned to either a control or experimental group. The experimental group received oral melatonin (0.5 mg/kg body weight to a max of 5 mg) 30 minutes before a blood draw, while the control group received placebo. Anxiety was assessed in both groups using the Children’s Anxiety and Pain Scales. Pain for children under three years was assessed using the Face, Legs, Activity, Cry and Consolability assessment tool. For children ages three to eight the Face Pain Scale-Revised was used. Lastly, the Numeric Rating Scale for Children was used for those participants over eight years of age.

Results showed that an oral dose of melatonin 30 minutes prior to getting blood drawn significantly reduced both the anxiety and pain when compared to placebo. These findings provide a solution for practitioners and patients in these situations, and this intervention may prevent from lifelong fears and anxiety about needles. Researchers are hopeful that these findings could be reproduced in adults but to date further investigation into different age groups is needed.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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