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S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a popular human supplement that has recently been used in dogs and cats to preserve and fortify liver function. SAMe is a molecule naturally synthesized by cells throughout the body. It is formed from the amino acid methionine and is especially important to liver cells.
  • SAMe increases the amount of naturally occurring glutathione in the body. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that protects liver cells from toxins and cell death.
  • Supplementation with SAMe has been shown to increase the liver levels of glutathione, helping protect and maintain liver function, especially in animals with liver disease.
  • The presence of food decreases the absorption of SAMe, so it should be given on an empty stomach.
  • S-adenosylmethionine is available over the counter but should not be administered except under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

    Brand Names or Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans and animals.
  • Human formulations: S-adenosylmethionine is supplied by numerous drug companies, in a variety of trade names, and in various generic forms.
  • Veterinary formulations: Denosyl SD4 (Nutramax)

    Uses of S-adenosylmethionine

  • S-adenosylmethionine is used as a supplemental treatment in liver disease in dogs and cats.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • S-adenosylmethionine has been found to be quite safe and so far there have been no reports of contraindications or adverse effects.

    How S-adenosylmethionine is Supplied

  • SAMe is available as 90 mg and 225 mg tablets.
  • The tablets are sensitive to moisture and extreme heat and should not be removed from the blister pack until administration. Also, the tablets should not be crumbled or split.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • SAMe tablets must remain intact.
  • The dose of SAMe is 9 mg per pound (18 mg/kg). Since the tablets cannot be split, the size of tablet closest to the calculated dose should be administered.
  • For animals up to 12 pounds (6 kg), one 90 mg tablet is administered.
  • For animals weighing 12 to 25 pounds (6 to 12 kg), two 90 mg tablets are administered.
  • For animals weighing 26 to 35 pounds (12 to 17 kg), one 225 mg tablet is administered.
  • For animals weighing 36 to 65 pounds (17 to 32 kg), two 225 mg tablets are administered.
  • For animals over 65 pounds (32 kg), three 225 mg tablets are administered.
  • For animals over 90 pounds (40 kg), four 225 mg tablets are administered.
  • SAMe should be administered on an empty stomach, at least one hour before feeding. If fasting is not possible, SAMe should be given 30 minutes after a meal.
  • The daily dose of SAMe may be given once daily or may be divided into 2 doses.
  • The duration of administration of SAMe depends on the condition being treated and the response to this medication. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to be feeling better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.




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