Melatonin Treatment for COPD

| Modified on Nov 01, 2023
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Melatonin for COPD.

by Art Solbrig
February 06, 2021
Updated: February, 09, 2021

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease) is a common health issue, so I thought I would add a bit of new information to help those looking for improvement in symptoms. Given the reduced life expectancy of people with COPD, it seems a subject worth discussing and looking for answers to.

What Is COPD?

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is a blanket term for certain lung diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related issues. Emphysema falls into this category, as does Chronic Bronchitis.

What Is The Life Expectancy of People With COPD?

Based on the article linked to below by MedicalNewsToday, people who have COPD are evaluated with a GOLD rating system, which has four levels (GOLD 1-4) that consider multiple factors that determine the individual's life expectancy.

How Do Doctors Diagnose COPD?

Doctors have several tests at their disposal to determine if a patient has COPD. These tests include lung function tests, chest x-ray, CT-Scan, arterial blood gas analysis, and lab testing to determine what might be causing specific issues.

How Do Doctors Treat COPD?

Doctors can use prescription medications to improve your breathing, quality of life and reduce your flare-ups. They can also use Pulmonary Rehabilitation involving exercise, diet, education, and counseling. Doctors can also use supplemental oxygen treatment to increase your oxygen levels and lung surgery to improve breathing in some patients.

There is no current "cure" for COPD.

What Causes COPD?

The number one cause of COPD is smoking, but exposure to hazardous chemicals that you breathe in can also be a cause, as can anything you breathe in that can be irritating to the lungs. Secondhand smoke can also cause COPD in adults. When fire fighters didn't use as much protective breathing apparatus in years past, the smoke and chemical content of the smoke could be another cause for COPD or other lung issues like cancer.

What Are Alternative Treatments For COPD That Doctors Don't (Or Rarely) Use?

This is a very broad area, and scientific testing of these alternatives is little to none.

One popular remedy on EC is hydrogen peroxide via direct inhalation to the lungs using various methods. Other options include exercise, quit smoking, keep your weight at a healthy level, aquatic-based exercises, but not in water that is heavily chlorinated as that can be damaging to the lungs, and lastly, try to reduce stress.

Melatonin for COPD

Another Idea that has not been listed on EC yet Is the use of melatonin.

You may be wondering how an inexpensive over the counter (in the US) sleep aid can be beneficial for patients with a severe disease like COPD? COPD, by definition, is an inflammatory lung disease that also presents with elevated oxidative stress.

Melatonin is a highly potent antioxidant, radical scavenger as well as being a potent anti-inflammatory. It can quickly enter your tissues, including the lungs, where it can use those three qualities to reduce inflammation and elevated oxidative stress that is doing a large part of the damage in people with COPD. Dr. Neel was well aware of these melatonin effects and are the three main reasons he chose it to treat well over 1,000 of his Covid-19 patients successfully!

Melatonin Research Studies

The following article below discusses elevated oxidative stress and inflammation in COPD in conjunction with reduced Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC). Melatonin is well noted for reducing excess oxidative stress to redox equilibrium and lowering elevated inflammation, all while increasing TAC!

The following study illustrates how melatonin reduces oxidative stress in people with COPD, even at a very low dose.

Melatonin is also noted for lowering Inflammasomes in the lungs, as mentioned here :

And here:

The following article discusses how this same inflammasome is elevated in COPD and decreased when symptoms are controlled. Here is an interesting quote from the study:

>>> Interestingly, NLRP3 is over-expressed in the lung of stable COPD patients rather than non-smokers and smokers with normal spirometry, implying the correlation of NLRP3 mRNA expression to the severity of airflow obstruction

Melatonin for Elevated Oxidative Stress in COPD

There is more to COPD than just this, though. In COPD, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) / oxidative stress is also elevated and damages the pulmonary system, as mentioned in the links below.

The second link also mentions how melatonin can attenuate a cough, a common symptom of COPD. *Early last year, I had a cough that I couldn't get rid of for about two months, and I ended up using melatonin to get rid of it in about 2 or 3 days, so the benefits of melatonin are not confined to COPD.

Based on the above, it is becoming more apparent how exactly melatonin is likely to be useful for reducing several of the damaging elements associated with COPD. These would be elevated inflammation, elevated oxidative stress, and inhibition of inflammasome activation.

This is not all that melatonin does to be useful for people with COPD potentially, but they are common issues known to be active in COPD that melatonin looks likely to be helpful.

Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation for COPD

For people who are using Hydrogen Peroxide (HP) inhalation as part of their treatment for COPD, you should be aware that HP is an oxidant, so you are using an oxidant in a situation that already has plenty of oxidant activity.

Hydrogen Peroxide will likely inhibit unwanted bacterial activity in the lungs and can potentially add oxygen as Catalase neutralizes it. My thinking is that the increased oxygen may be one of the most beneficial effects of HP use.

Still, you can see where melatonin might be useful for reducing overall oxidative stress and inflammation via activation of the Nrf2 pathway as well as increased gene expression of the bodies own potent natural antioxidants, which will also increase total antioxidant activity (TAC), which is essential in COPD because TAC is reduced in COPD. HP offers no reduction of inflammation or oxidative stress, so melatonin may be useful for the addition of what it is already known to do.

Although melatonin has an excellent safety profile, I am still of the opinion that some people cannot tolerate melatonin, but the majority can, so this has to be considered whenever someone is considering the use of melatonin at any dose.

Here are studies suggesting that melatonin may be of use in COPD :

 The following link is important because it shows that melatonin suppresses Interleukin-8 / IL-8, which is very important. After all, IL-8 is an upstream inflammatory cytokine that calls other inflammatory mediators such as IL-1b, IL-6, and TNF-alpha into the fray. By reducing IL-8, these other inflammatory mediators are also reduced!

The following abstract link is important because it shows that melatonin levels decline during disease exacerbation periods and increase during normal periods.

The damaging Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS) is also at elevated levels in COPD as shown in the following link :

Melatonin is well known to scavenge RNS and is just one more good reason to consider melatonin in COPD. The following abstract link confirms this positive activity of melatonin.

So now we know that melatonin looks likely to be useful for COPD. I am not a doctor and, as such, can not give dosage recommendations or even recommend melatonin for COPD. I can tell you that I have been taking melatonin every night at a dose of 106 mg/night for just over four months. This is based primarily on the excellent safety profile of melatonin in human studies using that much and more for more extended periods (years in some studies).

At this time, I am using it as a preventative, which I recently wrote about here on EC for stroke prevention and its potent antioxidant, anti-radical and anti-inflammatory qualities, which are likely to confer other health benefits.

Dr. Neel uses 1 mg of melatonin for each kilogram of bodyweight for his Covid-19 patients and has had excellent success in over 1,000 Covid-19 patients that he has treated so far for a disease that is known to have very adverse effects on the lungs. In contrast, melatonin is shown to be beneficial for lung inflammation and excess oxidative stress.

COPD, Strokes and Melatonin

Lastly, in the following study, it is pointed out that COPD may be a risk factor for stroke.

In the following article that I recently posted, I explain how melatonin can not only act to help prevent stroke but can also help in the treatment of stroke. This dual ability of melatonin makes melatonin even more useful in adding stroke prevention to being useful for COPD and other health benefits related to its use.

This meta-analysis further substantiates the risk of stroke in people with COPD.


So these studies suggest that melatonin may help alleviate much of the damage related to COPD. Add to that the fact that with COPD comes increased potential for a stroke, melatonin has also shown the ability to potentially prevent and treat, then keeping in mind that melatonin has also demonstrated the ability to fight Covid-19, which is well established for attacking the lungs. Melatonin is protective of the lungs but has other health benefits, which I will write about soon. All of this seems to make melatonin a topic that people with COPD should discuss with their doctors! Many drugs come with many side effects, but melatonin appears to come with many other health effects!

Where Do I Get Melatonin?

I have gotten melatonin at multiple online suppliers and stores like Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Amazon, etc.

Here are a few links to Amazon:

NOW Supplements, Melatonin, 10 mg, 100 Veg Capsules

Natrol Fast Dissolve - 10 mg - 100 Count - $12.99

Puritan's Pride Melatonin 10 mg 120 Capsules (3-Pack)- $23.00

Here is a link to Vitacost melatonin products:

If you are considering melatonin use (at any dose) for COPD, please discuss it with your doctor or health care professional to make sure it is safe for you and is not a problem with the meds you are already taking!

Got a question for Art or feedback about melatonin for COPD? Please submit it here.

Related Links:

25 Scientifically Proven Ways Melatonin Can Fight COVID-19
Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation Guide: Bill Munro Method
Melatonin Cures
Melatonin for Stroke Recovery and Prevention
Melatonin Protocol for COVID-19

Melatonin Dosage for COPD

Posted by Marynrandy (Mesa, AZ) on 11/01/2023

I was reading Art Solbrig's article on Melatonin for COPD. He takes over 100 mg a night. In the article, it says to help with COPD, take 1 mg per kg of weight. Has anyone tried this and had any good results. That seems like a high dose of melatonin. I would need 72 mg. I have taken 5 mg but had very bad dreams. Has anyone else had this happen to them or do the dreams get better after taking for a while?

Replied by Art
1946 posts


As I mentioned in the article, some people are not able to tolerate melatonin and it sounds like you may fall in that category. The dose you mentioned of 1 mg per kilogram of bodyweight is the dose that Dr. Neel uses in his Covid-19 patients, not for COPD. The optimal dose of melatonin to treat COPD has not yet been established. It is only known that melatonin's effects are well suited for COPD and has been used in other human studies at higher dosing such as 50 mg.

In the following study (an RCT), it was shown that just 3 mg/day of melatonin reduced lung oxidative stress and the inflammatory mediator IL-8 in people with COPD, but that is not likely an optimal dose for COPD:

Here is a relevant study quote:

Oxidative stress was evaluated by 8-isoprostane levels in exhaled breath condensate at baseline (T0) and after one (T1), two (T2), and three months (T3) of treatment. Additionally, exhaled breath condensate levels of IL-8, dyspnea severity (Medical Research Council scale), lung function (spirometry), and functional exercise capacity (six min walk test) were compared at baseline and after treatment. Patients receiving melatonin showed a decrease in 8-isoprostane (T0: mean±S.E.M.=20.41±2.92pg/mL; T1: 18.56±2.68pg/mL; T2: 12.68±2.04pg/mL; T3: 12.70±2.18pg/mL; P=0.04; repeated measures ANOVA) with significant differences from baseline after 2 (P=0.03) and 3months (P=0.01). Dyspnea was improved by melatonin (P=0.01), despite no significant changes in lung function or exercise capacity. Placebo-treated patients, but not those who were given melatonin, showed an increase in IL-8 (P=0.03). In summary, melatonin administration reduced oxidative stress and improved dyspnea in COPD. Further studies are necessary to determine the potential role for melatonin in the long-term management of these patients.

If you notice, that study was done in 2012, over a decade ago and the positive results warranted further dose escalating studies to try and determine the optimal dose of melatonin for COPD, but those studies have not happened.

If you find that you can not tolerate melatonin because of the dreams, then you can increase your melatonin naturally without the dreams by reading here :

Melatonin produced naturally in the body does not cause side effects.


Melatonin Dosage for COPD
Posted by Vlii (Oregon) on 02/09/2021

Hi Art,

What is the recommended dosage and frequency of melatonin for COPD treatment?

Replied by Gary G.
(Living in the Philippines)

Hello, did you ever find an answer to the dosage of melatonin for copd? I'm also looking for an answer to that... Thanks, Gary G


I saw in the study that the control group received 3Mg of melatonin.

'Thirty-six consecutive patients with clinically stable moderate to very severe COPD (30 men; mean±S.D.=66.6±7.8yr) were randomized to receive 3mg melatonin (N=18) or placebo for 3 months. In summary, melatonin administration reduced oxidative stress and improved dyspnea in COPD.'

Replied by Linda
(Cortland, NY, USA)

Thank you for all your hard work! Can you take Melatonin during the day? Or only at night? I have Nature's Sunshine products and they have Melatonin Extra, 3 mg, which has extra Vitamin E, Eleuthero Root, and Ginseng Leaf in it. Would love your feedback on this.

1946 posts


I only suggest melatonin during daylight hours for very serious health conditions such as cancer or Covid-19 and this is not to say that COPD is not a serious health condition, it is, but I would only consider daytime melatonin for later stage COPD.

I would limit melatonin for night time use. I think that 3 mg melatonin may be insufficient for COPD and highly recommend that you consider higher dosing if you tolerate such.. The Eleuthero root (Siberian Ginseng) is useful. The ginseng leaf is too. The downside is if you limit melatonin use to night use only, you don't get as much benefit from the ginseng components or the vitamin E during the day since they are combined with the melatonin, for the COPD, but overall the combination should be useful during the night if the dosing levels are high enough, in which case it would be a good idea to add a supplement or two during the day. Melatonin is not only good for COPD, but it also shows benefit against cardiovascular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis which people with COPD are at increased risk for. If you are unable to tolerate melatonin, the studies below may interest you.

There are quite a few supplements that are suggested to help COPD and vitamin D would be one of those that has shown benefit for people with COPD and would be taken during the day. The following study discusses the effects of vitamin D use for COPD :

Here is a relevant study quote :

' In conclusion, VDD(vitamin D deficiency was found to be ubiquitous in patients with early COPD and positively correlated with FEV1pred% and FEV1/FVC. Accordingly, this study offers experimental rationales for the role of vit D in the prevention and control of COPD and the potential anti-inflammatory mechanisms involved. '

Based on the above study, I highly recommend that you have your doctor help you to get your vitamin D level well into the upper half of the reference range which is 30 to 100 ng/ml, in order for you to take full advantage of the benefits of vitamin D for COPD. I think 5000 iu per day is what your doctor may have you start at and then retest after a few months to see if a dose adjustment is needed.

Two more of those supplements that have shown benefit for COPD is NAC in combination with Propolis from honeybees. The following study discusses this combination and how it benefits people with COPD :

Here are two relevant study quotes :

' Compared to placebo, the relative risk for exacerbation was 0.29 in AS-600 and 0.13 in AS-1, 200. No adverse events related to the treatment were reported. '

' Oral combination of natural propolis with NAC confirmed formulation efficiency with a favorable safety profile. '

So the use of Propolis at 160 mg/day plus NAC at 1200 mg/day did significantly better than the lower dose group.

These studies give you a little more food for thought in your treatment plans for COPD. It is worth repeating that people with COPD are at increased risk for CVD and osteoporosis/osteopenia. On that not,e here are links to articles I have written on these two health topics and what may help :


Where to Buy: UK

Posted by Moira (UK) on 02/13/2021

I found Art´s article on melatonin for COPD very useful but I am a little confused abut the dosage. In the UK you can only buy up to 3 mg. dosage at the most. Would this amount be any use to me as I have emphysema? I can order from America but not sure customs would allow a higher dose in to UK.

Replied by Art
1946 posts
Replied by Dene

You can get 10mg and possibly 12mg melatonin from delivery is quite quick. I wish you well.