Merck Manual

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S -Adenosyl- L -Methionine (SAMe)

By

Laura Shane-McWhorter

, PharmD, University of Utah College of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
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NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
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S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a naturally occurring agent in the human body, produced largely by the liver. It is also manufactured synthetically as a supplement. (See also Overview of Dietary Supplements.)

Medicinal claims

SAMe is said to be effective in treating depression, osteoarthritis, gallbladder, and liver disorders, but scientific studies so far do not clearly confirm these claims. More research is needed to verify its effectiveness for depression, but it may help people who have osteoarthritis function better. Better studies are needed to evaluate whether SAMe helps people with liver disorders.

Possible side effects

No serious side effects have been reported. People with a bipolar disorder should not use SAMe because it can cause manic episodes.

Possible drug interactions

Combining antidepressant drugs with SAMe, both of which will increase serotonin levels, may cause adverse effects such as rapid heart rate and anxiety.

More Information

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
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