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Punarbhava

SAM-e (S-adenosyl-L-methionine)

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Punarbhava

Admin note While available as a dietary supplement, SAM-e is a powerful neuroactive amino acid. We have had several members who had withdrawal difficulties going off SAM-e after regular use, and other adverse effects.

Romido - Sam-e gave me withdrawals...

Night Sky: How do I taper SAM-e?...

Burf going off SAM-E ...

ratherbedigging: Sam-E started it all...I think. Yrs later, to ...

chuby: Sam-E tapering to re-start a SNRI ...
 
Also see our topic on 5-HTP and tryptophan
 




http://mental-health.emedtv.com/sam-e/sam-e-side-effects.html


SAM-e Side Effects

Nausea, insomnia, and loss of appetite are some of the more common problems reported by people taking SAM-e. These problems are more likely to occur with a higher dosage of the supplement. Several less common -- but potentially serious -- side effects of SAM-e are also possible and require immediate medical attention, including restlessness, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Side Effects to Report

SAM-e Supplement Information

Does SAM-e Cause Side Effects?

As with any medication or supplement, side effects are possible with S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e). Many people assume that natural products, such as SAM-e, are always free of side effects. However, this is simply not the case. Any supplement that has medicinal properties may also have side effects.

(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects of SAM-e. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of SAM-e side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of SAM-e
Some of the common SAM-e side effects include:

Gas
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea or constipation
Dry mouth
Headaches
Insomnia
Loss of appetite
Sweating
Dizziness
Nervousness
Fatigue.

As you might expect, side effects are more common with a higher SAM-e dosage.

Side Effects to Report
Some side effects of SAM-e, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider.

These include but are not limited to:

Anxiety, agitation, or panic attacks
Hostility or aggressiveness
Engaging in unusual or dangerous activities
Restlessness or inability to sit still
Extreme elation or feeling of happiness that may switch back and forth with a depressed or sad mood
Other unusual changes in behavior
Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Parkinson's disease symptoms, such as a tremor (SAM-e could theoretically cause or worsen these symptoms)
Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:

Itching
Hives
Rash
Wheezing
Difficulty breathing
Swelling of the mouth or throat. Edited by Altostrata
added admin note

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Altostrata

SAM-E and other supplements that act on serotonin, including St. John's Wort, are not recommended for people with withdrawal syndrome. They tend to be stimulating in a way that most of us really do not need.

 

No matter what you read about "natural" supplements, or even if an alternative practitioner, naturopath, or integrative doctor recommends them, you cannot treat withdrawal syndrome as though it is "natural" depression.

 

In "natural" depression, your nervous system is normal and it is operating your body properly. In withdrawal syndrome, your nervous system is struggling to get back to normal operation. Don't try to speed this along with anything that may be stimulating, or you may further unbalance it.

 

As for SAM-E, please note some of the side effects:

 

 

http://mental-health.emedtv.com/sam-e/sam-e-side-effects.html

 

....

Anxiety, agitation, or panic attacks

Hostility or aggressiveness

....

Restlessness or inability to sit still

....

Parkinson's disease symptoms, such as a tremor (SAM-e could theoretically cause or worsen these symptoms)

....

 

Despite what you may have heard about SAM-E being a good treatment for "natural" depression, don't expose your fragile nervous system to this.

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Punarbhava

....

 

Despite what you may have heard about SAM-E being a good treatment for "natural" depression, don't expose your fragile nervous system to this.

Alto.....

 

 

I'm completely on the same page regarding psychoactive herbs. Just to be clear, I was posting info on herbs as a warning, not as promoting them since, I believe, many people complicate their WD journey by consuming such.

 

I figured there's a certain percentage of people who are going to take these herbs but they better be warned of the risk they're taking. Hence, I posted these articles.

 

 

Notice the post on Valerian root...........I highlighted areas in "red" that I wish for members to take seriously.

 

Do you think there should be a section on herbs.........placing YOUR POST at the VERY TOP and then all other posts beneath?

 

 

Perhaps under a thread title: What to Avoid during WD and WHY. I guess I should have checked with you first before posting this stuff to find out how you wanted to approach this subject. Sorry about that.

 

 

Punar

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Altostrata

Those are excellent suggestions, Pun.

 

I moved the topic into Symptoms and What Helps because we know people will be asking about SAM-E.

 

I'll think of a way to organize a guide to herbs and supplements, to avoid topic proliferation etc.

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Razzle

No matter what you read about "natural" supplements, or even if an alternative practitioner, naturopath, or integrative doctor recommend them, you cannot treat withdrawal syndrome as though it is "natural" depression.

 

In "natural" depression, your nervous system is normal and it is operating your body properly. In withdrawal syndrome, your nervous system is struggling to get back to normal operation. Don't try to speed this along with anything that may be stimulating, or you may further unbalance it.

 

BOTH HANDS CLAPPING FOR THAT POSITION

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bronxboy8

Can sam-e cause withdrawls?

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Altostrata

Hard to say, bronxboy. I've never seen a report of withdrawal from SAM-e.

 

But in your situation, with your sensitivities -- please don't try it.

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bronxboy8

Thanks, the sad thing is that already did but I stopped it.hopefully it didn't set me back to far, I was warned by alot of nice people not to try anything but my fears and my stress lead me to that bad decision.

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Altostrata

Don't blame yourself, bronx, we've all done that.

 

What you've got to do now is listen to your body and help it heal.

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Guest damnnardil

Well what about after you are off all psychotropics and your believe you have no further withdrawal syndrome?

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Shanti

Well what about after you are off all psychotropics and your believe you have no further withdrawal syndrome?

 

Personally, it is something I might try in the future when I'm completely recovered. That's IF I am still having depression and other therapies like CBT hasn't worked. Either SAMe or St. John's Wort. I did take Saint John's Wort many years ago and didn't have trouble with withdrawals. But who knows now, with my nervous system having been changed now. Yeah, it'll definitely be a last resort.

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Altostrata

I'd be careful about it. SAM-e is stimulating. Once you've had withdrawal symptoms, your nervous system may be permanently sensitized to all neuroactive substances. This can decrease somewhat from the extreme hypersensitivity some of us have while recovering, but it may still be there.

 

Sorry, that's the way it is. No easy answers.

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Romido

Don't touch it!!!

 

I took it for about 12 weeks and it was giving me too many side effects so I quit cold turkey. I am having a horrible withdrawal, exactly like prescription ssri users. That's why I am here with this site, it's terrible - anxiety, insomnia, visual problems, cognitive problems, the whole thing except the brain zaps. It is getting better slowly, but it's horrible just like the ssri stories on here. I have been off 4 months and withdrawals still around. I took 400 mg/day, not an unusually high dose either. I reported my experience to the FDA, for what it's worth. I have never taken an ssri before this, and drs know nothing about what I am going through. Please stay away from Sam-e!!

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Altostrata

That's interesting, Romido. You must be unusually sensitive to serotonin. We have other people here who had immediate bad reactions to SSRIs, took them only a short time, and have suffered prolonged withdrawal symptoms. Like you, their nervous systems have that sensitivity.

 

Generally, people with withdrawal syndrome find SAM-e too activating (stimulating).

 

Thanks for posting about your experience.

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Romido

The last time I took Sam-e was about 3 mo in 2011 (at 400mg day), but I had taken it years before with good results but I think now that it was at perhaps 200/mg day. I did like it while I was on it, definitely lifted depressed feelings brought on by life circumstances. Helped me think more clearly and learn things more quickly. I do feel like it brought on a little bit of anxiety, but nothing like the withdrawal anxiety after stopping. I had horrible morning anxiety for about 6 weeks, though it seems to be gone now. My sleep was initially less when I started taking it, but slept solid once getting to sleep and that trouble getting to sleep went away in a couple weeks on. It gave me lots of palpitations and some gastro trouble, but I thought about quitting cold turkey when I had electrical zaps one morning while taking. Not brain zaps, but like in my back or gut. Then one day I felt a tiny wave of blackout, like someone had hit pause and I came back in one second.

 

After quitting cold turkey, the anxiety hit like a lead brick.

 

Now in withdrawal four months out, I still wake up at the end of every sleep cycle (1.5 to 2 hrs apart). Thankfully I am able to get enough sleep that I don't feel deprived, but I still feel the effects of missing a good night sleep.

 

Really the withdrawal was so bad that my Dr gave me an mri to be sure I did not have a brain tumor! Other drs gave me prozac (which I tried 8 days and stopped) and Ativan (which helped but gave me rebound anxiety so I am just trying to get through this with nothing).

 

My ears are still ringing and I have dizzy spells and very low tolerance to stress. I can't even take fish oil to help, that makes the insomnia worse. I have had to give up all caffeine and alcohol.

 

Sam-e really should be regulated like the ssri drugs, its the same thing or worse! I pray for neuroplasticity!

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Nadia

I second having a thread about "natural" solutions and their cautions for people in withdrawal. Years ago I tried St. John's Wort and it was helpful. Then the two times I tried it when I was going through withdrawal I think it just made things worse. Awful reaction to valerian as well. I'm sure there is personal variation with these substances, but it's good to know what to be cautious with.

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Altostrata

Just goes to show, nothing good comes of screwing around with neurotransmitters.

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Romido

Here is an interesting article on Sam-e. Clearly if it works like a tricyclic it can give withdrawals like them. Sam-e brain electrophysiology

 

I do miss the cognition enhancing effects but this withdrawal really sucks.

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Romido

Moonboe, read my intro if you are curious about Sam-e. I do not recommend. I took 400 mg a day for about three months... Have been dealing with withdrawal for more than a YEAR. Not worth it. Do not recommend!!

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Zoe

I have been taking Sam-E for years. I was wondering if anyone thinks it may be making my w/d worse? If so do I taper it also? I am not trying to taper now- just trying to stabilize.  Thanks in advance for your help. Blessings to all!

 

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Altostrata

See the above discussion on SAM-e. We have had several people here who've gotten withdrawal symptoms from going off it.

 

SAM-e requires tapering to discontinue it.

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Clamshell16

Sam-e has saved me. After 9 months of trying to eat the right foods and keep a careful diet I was still depressed and my doctor really wanted to put me back on an anti depressant. I read about Sam-e and have it a try. I've been off Effexorrx for 1 1/2 years now. Still recovering and feeling various side effects but Sam-e gets me thru the day. Don't know what I'd do without it.

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Skyler

Check this thread out and learn how to use Google to  search this site for Sam-E.  You will be glad you did.  Sam-E is no cake walk for many.

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Zoe

Hi- I have been on SAM-E for years - have currently tapered down to 200 mg. I did fine on it, but came down from 600 mg a day to 200 due to extreme anxiety the past few months. I was sent to this link when I asked about it.http://survivinganti...l-l-methionine/ I agree with Skyler- some people can really have problems with it.

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Zoe

Hi Clamshell- How many mgs. a day do you take? When I first started taking it I read where if you take it with B vitamins it is more effective. Glad that it is helping you.

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Designgirl732

SAM-e seems to have so many different reactions with people. Sometimes I read amazon.com reviews specifically those who have been on AD's and switched - It seems to be pretty potent but I think we're all looking for some form of hope in a 'natural' form that we'll try anything. I guess there's really no way to know how it's going to work for you until you try it. I wonder what percentage of people it's worked FOR as opposed to NOT worked. 

 

I will read the thread-apologies if this thread is redundant.

 

Thanks!

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Altostrata

We have had several people come on here who have had difficulties discontinuing SAM-e.

 

Others have reported that it is too activating.

 

Try at your own risk.

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Meimeiquest

I have been studying (just with Dr. Google) the methylation cycle. Sam-E is an integral part. I'd recommend you really understand where it fits into all that before you make a decision. I'm ending up taking quite a bit of niacin, which takes methyl group(s?) away from Sam-E, to feel better, but that shows something is amiss as well. You can just google Sam-E and methylation.

 

It is possible you will come off citalopram and be fine. I was expecting many more problems coming off Wellbutrin than I've actually had so far (but I'm still on many meds).

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Wildflower0214

I took this during early WD, and I felt like I had snorted an illegal street drug. It was terrifying.

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WiggleIt

Hey friends,

 

I have read some stuff here and there that supplements help, but I also briefly saw something saying that supplements are only a temporary placebo and as soon as you stop taking them, WD symptoms come back.  I think I saw that on "Mad in America" site.  It scared me.  Frankly, everything I've seen on that ******* site scares me.

 

I am not doing any supplements, but I have realized that I feel better IMMEDIATELY after I eat certain foods, like avocado, that promote my body's natural production of certain things, like glutathione.

 

So why am I scared?  I'm scared because I worry that I will never feel better unless I am eating very specific foods.  Like if an avocado is not in my body, I'll get more twitchy, more TD, and more akathisia.

 

Will my body ever learn to chew and swallow and think on its own again, or will I only be to perform in five-minute windows after I eat an avocado?

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Wildflower0214

Hey friends,

 

I have read some stuff here and there that supplements help, but I also briefly saw something saying that supplements are only a temporary placebo and as soon as you stop taking them, WD symptoms come back. I think I saw that on "Mad in America" site. It scared me. Frankly, everything I've seen on that ******* site scares me.

 

I am not doing any supplements, but I have realized that I feel better IMMEDIATELY after I eat certain foods, like avocado, that promote my body's natural production of certain things, like glutathione.

 

So why am I scared? I'm scared because I worry that I will never feel better unless I am eating very specific foods. Like if an avocado is not in my body, I'll get more twitchy, more TD, and more akathisia.

 

Will my body ever learn to chew and swallow and think on its own again, or will I only be to perform in five-minute windows after I eat an avocado?

If you can tolerate supps, take them! And I have had this, where certain foods for a period of time calm symptoms, but then later, it seems they do nothing. :( you will get better.

 

Peace

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Altostrata

What usually happens is that if a supplement or food helps, it helps for a while, but then either loses effect or causes an unpleasant reaction. Then you go on to the next supplement or food.

 

My experience has been that fish oil, magnesium, vitamin C, and melatonin have had good effects for years.

 

Be sure to try supplements very cautiously, and one at a time. If you are sensitive to foods, same thing.

 

Whatever you read on MIA has no basis in my experience.

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compsports

Whatever you read on MIA has no basis in my experience.

Someone in a thread has been advising a person to take 5HTP to rebalance brain chemistry.   So this person starts with 200mg of the supplement and is doing horribly.   What a surprise.

 

The good news is that other posters are acknowledging I have a point about supplements aggrivating withdrawal symptoms.   But too many of them think that because they aren't drugs, they are harmless.   So frustrating.

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Burf

I wanted to add my two cents to this topic.  For about 4 years I've been taking Sam-E thinking it's a safe, natural, over the counter supplement that helps with depression and joint health but this past week I got a really rude awakening.  At first I was taking 400mg for a while, then decided to drop to the 200mg pills to save on money.  Then about 3 months ago I decided I'd do an improvised taper to get off of Sam-E since I just figured it wasn't doing much for me anymore and I could save even more money.  I went from the 200mg pills to 100mg, then alternated taking it one day and not the next for about 2 or 3 weeks and stopped altogether.  I'd been getting symptoms but I'm also tapering off of Valium so I just figured they were part of that, but once I stopped the Sam-E I had HORRIBLE withdrawals about 4 days later.  Nausea, achy & restless legs, ringing in my ears, anxiety and depression that were crushing, and derealization with weird terrible thoughts.  I ended up reinstating on it and figured I'd just take the 100mg pills but it's been a game up of catch up and I've been feeling super crappy off and on each day.  The other delima with Sam-E is that it's pills are usually enteric coated so it's hard to cut them to lower doses in order to taper.  Not only that it has an extremely short half life which makes for rough withdrawals.  DO NOT take this stuff lightly.  I have been on it a long time but if I could go back in time I would have never touched the stuff in the first place.

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