Mental Health Home > SAM-e Side Effects

Nausea, insomnia, and loss of appetite are some of the more common problems reported by people taking SAM-e. These problems are more likely to occur with a higher dosage of the supplement. Several less common -- but potentially serious -- side effects of SAM-e are also possible and require immediate medical attention, including restlessness, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Does SAM-e Cause Side Effects?

As with any medication or supplement, side effects are possible with S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e). Many people assume that natural products, such as SAM-e, are always free of side effects. However, this is simply not the case. Any supplement that has medicinal properties may also have side effects.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects of SAM-e. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of SAM-e side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of SAM-e

Some of the common SAM-e side effects include:
As you might expect, side effects are more common with a higher SAM-e dosage.

Side Effects to Report

Some side effects of SAM-e, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Anxiety, agitation, or panic attacks
  • Hostility or aggressiveness
  • Engaging in unusual or dangerous activities
  • Restlessness or inability to sit still
  • Extreme elation or feeling of happiness that may switch back and forth with a depressed or sad mood
  • Other unusual changes in behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Parkinson's disease symptoms, such as a tremor (SAM-e could theoretically cause or worsen these symptoms)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Rash
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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