Since different people react to SAM-e differently, the suggested dosage of SAM-e has a wide range, from 200mg to 1600 mg a day. Typically 400 mg per day is sufficient. I started on 200 mg of SAM-e for depression, for about 2 weeks and then raised my SAM-e dosage to 400 mg which is what I have been taking for about 3 years now. My wife took 200 mg of SAM-e for depression for about 4 years until she noticed that it was not giving her the benefits it had in the past so she raised her dosage to 400 mg and that made a huge difference for her as well. She has been taking 400 mg of SAM-e ever since. With so many variables, the key to figuring out the best SAM-e dosage is trial and error until you figure out what works for you.
Here are a few suggestions when trying to figure out the most effective SAM-e dosage for you.
- Consult with a doctor or health care provider to make sure that SAM-e is right for you and so that they can help monitor your SAM-e dosage.
- Start with a low SAM-e dosage maybe 100 mg – 200 mg and increase after a week or two if desired effects are not met.
- Take SAM-e on an empty stomach at least 30 min to an hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal for best absorption. For a long time I was taking SAM-e with my meal because that was when I took my other supplements, until I read an article that said that it is best to take SAM-e on an empty stomach. Once I started taking it in the morning before breakfast I noticed a significant difference in the benefits.
- You can split your SAM-e dosage and take it 2-3 times a day. Example: if your total SAM-e dosage is 400 mg a day you can take 200 mg in the morning before breakfast and 200 mg in the afternoon. Some people feel that they experience the best benefits from SAM-e this way. I personally have not tried splitting my daily dosage up this way but have hear good things from other that have.
- Take SAM-e in the morning before breakfast, taking SAM-e at night can cause insomnia. I took SAM-e at night and had trouble sleeping, once I switched to the morning I was able to sleep without any problems from the SAM-e. My wife cannot take SAM-e in the morning before she has anything to eat. She found that it made her feel light headed, dizzy and even a little nauseous. So she takes it 2 hours after lunch (between lunch and dinner) and that seems to work well for her.
- SAM-e side effects are more likely to occur on high doses. If you experience any side effects from SAM-e such as gastrointestinal upsets (such as nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea), anxiety, mania, manic episodes, restlessness, headache, or insomnia you should stop use and consult your doctor or health care provider. You can also try to lower the SAM-e dosage and see if that helps.
- If you experience side effects from SAM-e you can try skipping a day or two in addition to lowering your SAM-e dosage.
- Once SAM-e is in your system you may be able to take SAM-e every other day or take it for a few days and then skip a day. Again, everyone is different and responds differently to SAM-e, so it may take you some time to figure out what SAM-e dosage works best for you.
Here are some common SAM-e dosages that have been used in clinical trials.
Depression: 400 mg – 1,600 mg daily
Osteoarthritis: 600 mg – 1,200 mg daily
Liver Disease: 600 mg – 1,600 mg daily
Migraine: 400 mg – 800 mg daily
Fibromyalgia: 800 mg daily – best results were found in the studies when split up into 400 mg doses taken twice daily
I will mention this again because it is obviously VERY important. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE TAKE SAM-e or any other supplements.
Though there are many great benefits of SAM-e supplement, one of the negatives is that it is converted into homocysteine in the body, which at high levels can elevate the risk of heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, taking the proper complement of B complex vitamins (particularly B-6, B-12 and folic acid which are most easily taken as part of a multivitamin) will counteract the escalation of homocysteine.
Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should consult with a doctor or health care provider before taking SAM-e.
People with bipolar disorder (manic depression) should not take SAM-e since it may worsen manic episodes.
People taking other antidepressants should consult with a doctor or health care provider before taking SAM-e.