A popular nighttime sleep aid may be an effective weapon against COVID-19, according to the results of a study led by Cleveland Clinic researchers and recently published in the journal PLOS Biology.
Analyzing data from Cleveland Clinic showed that patients who were taking melatonin were almost 30% less likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than patients who were not. Among African-American patients, the reduction in risk of coronavirus diagnosis was even greater, at 52%.
The trends were picked up by an artificial intelligence platform that scans data of existing patients and looks for patterns related to COVID-19 and use of medications that are already FDA approved for other uses.
The study's lead author cautioned that people should consult a doctor before starting to take melatonin. He also explained that researchers need to explore the possible melatonin-coronavirus connection more thoroughly.
"Large-scale observational studies and randomized controlled trials are critical to validate the clinical benefit of melatonin for patients with COVID-19," he said, "but we are excited about the associations put forth in this study and the opportunity to further explore them."