What Is Ademetionine?
Ademetionine is a form of the amino acid methionine. It also is called S-adenosylmethionine,
Typically, a human body makes all the
ademetionine it needs for good health. However, low levels of methionine,
folate, or vitamin B12 can cause a drop in ademetionine levels. Since this
chemical doesn’t exist in foods, a synthetic version is sometimes used to
normalize levels in the body.
Ademetionine is sold as a dietary supplement
in the United States. In Europe, it is used as a prescription drug.
What Does Ademetionine Do?
SAMe plays a role in the
immune system, maintains cell membranes, and helps produce and break down brain
chemicals, such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine.
Additional but inconclusive research suggests
that it also may be useful for treating symptoms of:
- cirrhosis of the liver
- chronic viral hepatitis
- jaundice in pregnancy
- Gilbert’s syndrome
- nerve problems related to AIDS
- cholestasis (blocked bile flow from the liver to the gall bladder)
What Are the
Side Effects of Ademetionine?
Ademetionine is safe for most
adults. However, it can sometimes cause the following side effects:
- dry mouth
- mild insomnia
- skin rashes
Patients with depression may
feel anxiety. An upset stomach can also occur when patients begin taking this supplement. Starting with smaller doses and working up to a full
dose can help the body adjust.
Patients who are allergic to ademetionine may
have symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. These include:
- flushing or reddening of the skin
How Is Ademetionine Administered?
Ademetionine is made in oral
and intravenous forms. Based on evidence from some clinical trials, the
following oral dosages have been effective for some adults with the following
conditions (Mayo Clinic, 2012):
- osteoarthritis: 600
to 1,200 milligrams in one to three divided doses daily
- cholestasis: up
to 1,600 milligrams daily
- depression: 800
to 1,600 milligrams daily
- fibromyalgia: 400
milligrams taken twice daily
- liver disease: 600
to 1,200 milligrams daily
A full dose of ademetionine is usually 400 milligrams, taken three or four times daily. This can be lowered to
200 milligrams twice a day if symptoms begin to improve (New York Langone Medical Center, 2013).
Ademetionine is not considered safe for children.
What Are the
Benefits of Ademetionine?
Ademetionine is effective in
relieving the pain of osteoarthritis.
The benefits of ademetionine
for the treatment of other conditions are uncertain. Some evidence suggests
that it may help treat:
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults
- cholestasis in
both pregnant and non-pregnant patients
- liver disease
There is not enough evidence to determine whether ademetionine is helpful for the many conditions it is used to treat. It also is used
- heart disease
- migraine headaches
- spinal cord injuries
- multiple sclerosis
What are the
Risks of Ademetionine?
Consult with a health care
provider before taking any medications, including herbs and supplements.
Ademetionine is considered
safe for most adults. However, it can worsen symptoms in patients
with certain disorders, such as bipolar disorder or Parkinson’s disease. Pregnant
or breastfeeding women should not take ademetionine.
Since it affects the central nervous system, ademetionine
may interfere with surgery. Its use should be discontinued at least two weeks
prior to surgery.
Ademetionine interacts with serotonin, a
chemical in your brain. When combined with medications that also affect
serotonin, ademetionine can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. This is a potentially
serious condition caused by too much serotonin. Side effects can include heart
problems, shivering, and anxiety.
Ademetionine should not be taken with the
- dextromethorphan (an active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough
- antidepressant drugs
- fluoxetine (for example, Prozac)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- amitriptyline (for example, Elavil)
- clomipramine (for example, Anafranil)
oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for depression
- phenelzine (for example, Nardil)
- tranylcypromine (for example, Parnate)
- meperidine (Demerol)
- pentazocine (Talwin)
- tramadol (for example, Ultram)
Ademetionine should not be taken with herbs
and supplements that increase serotonin levels. These include:
- Hawaiian baby woodrose
- St. John’s wort
Ademetionine should not be taken with
diabetes medications because it may increase the effects of these drugs. This can
increase the risk of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
How Does a
Patient Prepare for Ademetionine?
An upset stomach and digestive side effects can occur if a patient
begins with the fully recommended dose. Starting with smaller doses until these
effects subside can help the body adjust.
What Are the
Results of Ademetionine?
Ademetionine is useful in relieving the pain of osteoarthritis. It seems
to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in
treating this condition (Mayo Clinic, 2012).
There is not enough evidence on the use of ademetionine for depression,
fibromyalgia, and liver cholestasis. More information is needed to recommend
its use for treatment of these conditions (Mayo Clinic, 2012).