(for veterinary information only)
BRAND NAME: DENOSYL, NOVIFIT, SAMeLQ, ZENTONIL, AND DENAMARIN (SAMe combined with MILK THISTLE)
SAMe is a natural biochemical produced in the body from the amino acid “methionine.” It is involved in several biochemical processes:
USES OF THIS MEDICATION
In veterinary medicine this product is chiefly used in liver disease, in senility/cognitive dysfunction, and in detoxification in several types of poisonings (acetaminophen toxicity, xylitol toxicity, amanita mushroom toxicity). In humans it is frequently recommended for joint pain and for mood elevation.
The occasional animal patient experiences vomiting after SAMe administration though other than this there are no known side effects of SAMe.
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS
THE FOLLOWING CONCERN HAS NOT ACTUALLY BEEN REPORTED BUT COULD HAPPEN IN THEORY:
The combination of SAMe with certain medications may be able to create serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a dangerous condition that occurs when brain levels of serotonin get too high. This situation arises when medications that each increase serotonin levels are combined. Elevated heart rate, tremors/shivering, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, elevated body temperature, or high blood pressure can all be signs of serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome has not been demonstrated with SAMe but in theory could occur when SAMe is combined with tramadol (a pain reliever/cough suppressant), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (such as selegiline for cognitive dysfunction), with anti-anxiety medications such as fluoxetine, clomipramine or amitriptyline, or with an amitraz containing tick control product (see our tick control comparison chart).
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
SAMe is best absorbed on an empty stomach.
SAMe comes in a blister pack (single pill packets with a foil wrapper). SAMe is sensitive to air and moisture and broken tablets should be discarded.
SAMe is considered by the FDA to be a nutritional supplement rather than a “drug” which means it does not have to undergo the same rigid testing for efficacy as a licensed drug. There is a definite problem with lack of quality control in regard to nutritional supplements for human consumption thus products for human consumption do not undergo standardized production and may not be of the same quality as the name brand veterinary products.
SAMe must be formulated in a way that it is protected from the enzymes of the stomach. Tablets must be enteric coated. Liquid or chewable forms must employ lysosomes or similar protective technology.
Page last updated: 6/2/2018