A pilot study has found that for patients who were not responding well to depression medication, adding the over-the-counter supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) improved their condition. The research appeared in the April 2015 edition of Advances in Integrative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal.
About 40% of depressed patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have mixed results, and 30% have poor results. SSRI is a standard pharmaceutical treatment for clinical depression, and the medication can have side effects including insomnia, constipation, dry mouth, and increased risk of heart disease, liver damage, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The study looked at 36 patients who were not responding well to the standard drugs. Some were given a low dose of SAMe (800 mg/day), and some got a high dose (1600 mg/day). After 15 weeks, all patients showed significant improvement in their depressive symptoms.
The researchers believe that the low dose — 800 mg/day — of S-adenosylmethionine is needed to have the effect, in addition to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy.
Editor’s Note: When medication is not effective or consistent in its effects, matching drug therapy with naturally occurring substances such as the amino acid S-adenosylmethionine can help get therapy on track. This is just one example of complementary medicine: pairing medications with supplementation to improve results.
Study: S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and Magnesium Orotate as adjunctives to SSRIs in sub-optimal treatment response of depression in adults: A pilot study
Matthew Bambling et al. Published Online: May 22, 2015 DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2015.04.003