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Trial of SAM-e to Enhance Antidepressant Drug Benefit

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Are you currently taking an antidepressant yet still experiencing symptoms of depression? If so, and you live within traveling distance of Boston, you might wish to participate in a new study to determine whether taking supplemental SAM-e might enhance your antidepressant’s benefit.

This study, by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital’s large Depression Clinical and Research Program, will analyze “whether adding oral S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAM-e) to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (such as Lexapro®, Celexa®, Prozac®, Paxil®, Zoloft®) or venlafaxine (Effexor XR®) for the treatment of depression enhances the efficacy of the SSRIs.”

They explain that SAM-e is a naturally occurring substance found throughout the human body and “is thought to enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants such as the SSRIs.” SAM-e is a molecule that our cells produce constantly, using methionine provided by a wide variety of foods. SAM-e is known to be essential for scores of biochemical processes, from maintaining the structure of cell membranes to the manufacture of substances needed for transmitting nerve impulses and affecting emotions and moods.

Patients who qualify to participate in the study will need to visit the DCRP Clinic once a week for eight weeks. They will remain on their current SSRI dose, and be randomly assigned to take either SAM-e or a placebo (fake dose). For the first two weeks, the SAM-e dose will be 800 mg. That will be increased to 1600 mg in weeks three through eight.

Three months of free follow-up care at the depression clinic will be provided to all study participants, including those who received the placebo.

Patients who would like to apply for participation in the study may contact Juliana Smith at 617/724-2936 or e-mail jsmith44@partners.org Refer to “An open study of SAMe as an adjunct to SSRIs in the treatment of MDD.”

For more information on the Mass General depression program, go to http://www.massgeneral.org/allpsych/depression/about_us.html

Note: The information provided here has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is essential that you never make a change in your personal health support plan or regime without first researching and reviewing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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