Published online Nov 12, 2013. doi: 10.5318/wjo.v3.i4.32
Revised: November 5, 2013
Accepted: November 10, 2013
Published online: November 12, 2013
Neurohormones melatonin and its analogues are present with an important physiological and pharmacological ability to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP); thus, they are suitable for the treatment of ocular hypertension often associated with glaucoma. It is demonstrated that two of its analogues, 5-MCA-NAT and IIK7, are more effective than melatonin to reduce IOP for a longer period of time. The research for the discovery of better compounds resulted in the development of newer and improved analogues compared to 5-MCA-NAT and IIK7. Furthermore, already commercially available drugs currently used as treatment for other pathologies, presenting a resemblance to the melatonin structure, are being tested as potential glaucoma drugs. In this sense, agomelatine, which is already used as an anti-depressant medicine, is recognized as a worthy candidate since it reduces IOP, even under hypertensive conditions. To sum up, the use of melatonin and its analogues as promising anti-glaucomatous substances is of great importance and should be given serious consideration.
Core tip: This mini review depicts the main features of melatonin and derivatives as interesting agents for the treatment of the ocular hypertension associated with glaucoma.