S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as an antidepressant:
meta-analysis of clinical studies

by
Bressa GM
Department of Psychiatry,
University Cattolica Sacro Cuore
School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.
Acta Neurol Scand Suppl 1994; 154:7-14


ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION--S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) is a naturally-occurring substance which is a major source of methyl groups in the brain. MATERIAL AND METHODS--We conducted a meta-analysis of the studies on SAMe to assess the efficacy of this compound in the treatment of depression compared with placebo and standard tricyclic antidepressants. RESULTS--Our meta-analysis showed a greater response rate with SAMe when compared with placebo, with a global effect size ranging from 17% to 38% depending on the definition of response, and an antidepressant effect comparable with that of standard tricyclic antidepressants. CONCLUSION--The efficacy of SAMe in treating depressive syndromes and disorders is superior with that of placebo and comparable to that of standard tricyclic antidepressants. Since SAMe is a naturally occurring compound with relatively few side-effects, it is a potentially important treatment for depression.


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