S-adenosylmethionine treatment of depression: a controlled clinical trial

Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Sep;145(9):1110-4. doi: 10.1176/ajp.145.9.1110.


The antidepressant properties of S-adenosylmethionine, an endogenous methyl donor, were studied in inpatients who met the DSM-III criteria for major depression. Nine patients given intravenous S-adenosylmethionine and nine given low oral doses of imipramine were compared in a double-blind design for 14 days. The S-adenosylmethionine produced superior results by the end of the first week of treatment. By the end of the second week, 66% of the S-adenosylmethionine patients had a clinically significant improvement in depressive symptoms, compared to 22% of the imipramine patients. Side effects appeared to be fewer with S-adenosylmethionine than with imipramine during the last 5 days of the study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / administration & dosage
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / administration & dosage
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / therapeutic use*


  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Imipramine