Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 16 (3) - [2023-03-06; online 2023-03-06]
The prescription of melatonin to children and adolescents has increased dramatically in Sweden and internationally during the last ten years. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the prescribed melatonin dose in relation to body weight and age in children. The population-based BMI Epidemiology Study Gothenburg cohort has weight available from school health care records, and information on melatonin prescription through linkage with high-quality national registers. We included prescriptions of melatonin to individuals below 18 years of age where a weight measurement not earlier than three months before, or later than six months after the dispensing date, was available (n = 1554). Similar maximum doses were prescribed to individuals with overweight orobesity as to individuals with normal weight, and to individuals below and above 9 years of age. Age and weight only explained a marginal part of the variance in maximum dose, but were inversely associated and explained a substantial part of the variance in maximum dose per kg. As a result, individuals overweight or with obesity, or age above 9 years, received lower maximum dose per kg of body weight, compared with individuals with normal weight or below 9 years of age. Thus, the prescribed melatonin dose to individuals under 18 years of age is not primarily informed by body weight or age, resulting in substantial differences in prescribed dose per kg of body weight across BMI and age distribution.