Results from a new study to further explore the mechanistic action of ramelteon suggest it may have the ability to shift the biological circadian rhythm—one’s natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle—based on a study model designed to examine this potential.  Ramelteon has a unique mechanism of action that selectively targets two receptors located in the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN is known as the body’s “master clock” because it regulates the body’s 24-hour circadian rhythm, including the sleep-wake cycle.

According to the study, patients who received ramelteon before they went to bed 5 hours earlier than their normal bed times experienced an advancement of dim light melatonin secretion offset compared to placebo, a model used to evaluate a circadian phase-shifting effect. The results were presented at the 10th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research of Biological Rhythms in Sandestin, Fla.