A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of intravenous loading with S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) followed by oral SAM therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis Academic Article uri icon


  • We evaluated the effectiveness and rapidity of onset of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), administered as daily intravenous boluses of 400 mg for 5 days, followed by oral tablets, 200 mg thrice daily for 23 days, versus a matching placebo regimen, in the treatment of 81 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study was bicentric, randomized, double blinded, and placebo controlled. Patients underwent a 7-day washout of arthritis medications prior to initiation of this study treatment. Major outcome measures were the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire disability and pain scales, and supplemental visual analog scales for rest and walking pain. At one site, patients had milder OA, the baseline characteristics of the treatment groups were well matched, and the SAM treated group showed significantly greater reduction in overall pain and rest pain (p < 0.05) than the placebo treated group. At the other site, the patients had more severe OA, randomization yielded markedly different treatment groups, and the response to treatment did not differ between groups. Onset of SAM effect was seen as early as 14 days after the start of treatment. SAM may be an effective treatment for some patients with symptomatic knee OA, and merits further study. Intravenous loading before oral maintenance therapy may be advantageous.

publication date

  • June 1, 1994