S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine

In the body, a substance called S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is produced naturally. It participates in a variety of biochemical processes, including those that impact mood. SAMe has been investigated as a potential treatment for liver disease, depression, and osteoarthritis.

Health Benefits

SAMe may be useful in the management of depression. According to a review of studies, SAMe may be just as effective for treating depression as tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline.

SAMe has also been investigated as an osteoarthritis treatment. According to a review of studies, SAMe may be more efficient than a placebo at easing osteoarthritis patients' pain and enhancing joint function.

SAMe has also been investigated as a potential liver disease treatment. According to a review of studies, SAMe may help hepatitis C patients' livers stay healthy and function better.

Side Effects and Safety

SAMe is POSSIBLY SAFE when properly swallowed orally. The gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea and diarrhea, are the most typical. Dry mouth, anxiety, headaches, and vertigo are additional side effects of SAMe.

Injecting SAMe directly into the veins is LIKELY SAFETY-RISKY. There have been reports of people who injected SAMe intravenously (by IV) dying, going into a coma, or having seizures.

Special Precautions & Warnings

SAMe is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken orally in small amounts during pregnancy and while nursing. Larger quantities, though, might raise the chance of miscarriage. SAMe should preferably not be used during pregnancy unless a medical need exists. The safety of ingesting SAMe or administering it intravenously (via an IV) while nursing is not fully understood. Avoid use to be on the safe side.

Dosage

In scientific studies, the following doses have been investigated:

FROM MOUTH: 200–1600 mg of SAMe daily, split into 2-4 doses, for depression.

For up to 3 months, take 200–400 mg of SAMe per day if you have osteoarthritis.

600–1200 mg of SAMe per day for up to six months for liver disease

SAME INJECTION: There is no dose of SAMe that is both safe and effective to administer intravenously.

For maintenance, some people take a lower dose of SAMe (100–200 mg per day).

It's best to start with a low dose and increase it gradually as needed to minimize the risk of side effects.

Mechanism of Action

SAMe's precise mode of operation is unknown. It is believed to function by interfering with neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. SAMe might also act as an antioxidant.

Interactions

When combined with medications that increase the risk of bleeding, SAMe may make bleeding more likely. Aspirin, blood thinners (anticoagulants) like warfarin (Coumadin), and antiplatelet medications like clopidogrel (Plavix) are a few examples. Before taking these medications together, consult your doctor.

SAMe may also interact with some antidepressants, medications for seizures, drugs for Parkinson's disease, and other drugs.

Pharmacokinetics

SAMe is quickly absorbed from the gut and reaches its peak concentration in a matter of hours. SAMe is degraded in the liver and eliminated through the urine.

2.5 to 4 hours for half-life

Removal: Urine (70%)

SAMe alternatives

John's wort

5-HTP

The fatty acids omega-3

Zoloft (sertraline)

Bupropion-based medicine Wellbutrin

Is St. John’s Wort more effective than SAMe for depression?

There is some proof that St. John's Wort is superior to SAMe for treating depression. St. John's Wort was found to be equally effective at treating depression as tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and more effective than placebo, according to a systematic review of studies.

Is 5-HTP more effective than SAMe for depression?

There is some proof that 5-HTP is more effective for treating depression than SAMe. According to a systematic review of studies, 5-HTP is just as effective at treating depression as tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and is more effective than placebo.

Is omega-3 fatty acids more effective than SAMe for depression?

There is some proof that omega-3 fatty acids work better for treating depression than SAMe. According to a systematic review of studies, tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and placebo were not as effective at treating depression as omega-3 fatty acids.

Is Zoloft (sertraline) more effective than SAMe for depression?

There is some proof that Zoloft (sertraline) treats depression better than SAMe. According to a systematic review of studies, tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and SSRIs like sertraline are both equally effective at treating depression as SSRIs like sertraline.

Is Wellbutrin (bupropion) more effective than SAMe for depression?

There is some proof that Wellbutrin (bupropion) treats depression better than SAMe. According to a systematic review of studies, bupropion is just as effective at treating depression as amitriptyline and tricyclic antidepressants like placebo.