What is ademetionine?
Ademetionine is a form of the amino acid methionine. It also is called
S-adenosylmethionine, or SAMe.
Typically, a human body makes all the ademetionine it needs for good health.
However, low levels of methionine, folate, or vitamin B-12 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
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
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
- serotonin syndrome
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 symptoms include:
- flushing or reddening of the skin
How is ademetionine administered?
Ademetionine is made in oral and intravenous forms. The Mayo
Clinic reports that the following oral dosages have been effective for some
adults with the following conditions:
- osteoarthritis: 600 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) in one to
three divided doses daily
- cholestasis: up to 1,600 mg daily
- depression: 800 to 1,600 mg daily
- fibromyalgia: 400 mg taken twice daily
- liver disease: 600 to 1,200 mg daily
A full dose of ademetionine is usually 400 mg, taken three or four times
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:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in
- cholestasis in both pregnant and nonpregnant patients
- liver disease
Ademitionine is used to treat many other conditions, although there is
insufficient evidence to determine whether it is helpful for these conditions. Conditions
for which ademitionine is sometimes used include:
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- heart disease
- migraine headaches
- spinal cord injuries
- multiple sclerosis
What are the risks of ademetionine?
Consult with a healthcare 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 breast-feeding women should not take
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
Ademetionine should not be taken with the following medications:
- dextromethorphan (an active ingredient in many
over-the-counter cough medicines)
- antidepressant drugs
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
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 they may
increase the effects of these drugs. This can increase the risk of low blood
sugar, or hypoglycemia.
How does a patient prepare
for taking ademetionine?
An upset stomach and digestive side effects can occur if you begin with the
fully recommended dose. Starting with smaller doses until side 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 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in treating
this condition, according to the
Mayo Clinic. However, 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.