Am J Med
In a long-term multicenter open trial involving 10 general practitioners, the efficacy and tolerance of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) were studied for 24 months in 108 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and spine. At the end of the 24-month observation period, 97 of the patients were still in the study. The patients received 600 mg of SAMe daily (equivalent to three tablets of 200 mg each) for the first two weeks and thereafter 400 mg daily (equivalent to two tablets of 200 mg each) until the end of the 24th month of treatment. Separate evaluations were made for osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, cervical spine, and dorsal/lumbar spine. The severity of the clinical symptoms (morning stiffness, pain at rest, and pain on movement) was assessed using scoring before the start of the treatment, at the end of the first and second week of treatment, and then monthly until the end of the 24-month period. SAMe administration showed good clinical effectiveness and was well tolerated. The improvement of the clinical symptoms during therapy with SAMe was already evident after the first weeks of treatment and continued up to the end of the 24th month. Non-specific side effects occurred in 20 patients, but in no case did therapy have to be discontinued. Most side effects disappeared during the course of therapy. Moreover, during the last six months of treatment, no adverse effect was recorded. Detailed laboratory tests carried out at the start and after six, 12, 18, and 24 months of treatment showed no pathologic changes. SAMe administration also improved the depressive feelings often associated with osteoarthritis.