Medicines Evidence Commentary: Fracture risk associated with melatonin and other hypnotics

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Publication date:
17 October 2016


An observational cohort study has found that in people aged 45 years and over receiving 3 or more melatonin prescriptions was associated with an increased risk of fracture compared with no use of any hypnotic drugs. The study found that in a matched cohort receiving 2 or more prescriptions for ‘Z drug’ hypnotics was also associated with a similarly increased fracture risk. In line with NICE guidance on zaleplon, zolpidem and zopiclone and MHRA advice if, after due consideration of the use of non-pharmacological measures, hypnotic drug therapy is considered appropriate for the management of severe insomnia interfering with normal daily life, hypnotics should be prescribed for short periods of time and only in strict accordance with their licensed indications.

This link will take you to the Medicines Evidence Commentary featured in the NICE Medicines Awareness Weekly. Medicines Evidence Commentaries help contextualise important new evidence, highlighting areas that could signal a change in clinical practice. It does not constitute formal NICE guidance. The commentaries included are the opinions of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NICE.