HEALTH

Study: SAMe may benefit patients taking antidepressants

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON A new study conducted by investigators at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital suggested that the dietary supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) can be an effective, relatively well-tolerated, adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorders who do not respond to their treatment with antidepressant medication, Pharmavite announced Tuesday.

BOSTON A new study conducted by investigators at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital suggested that the dietary supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) can be an effective, relatively well-tolerated, adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorders who do not respond to their treatment with antidepressant medication, Pharmavite announced Tuesday.

“With each study, we continue to gain a better understanding of SAMe’s role in treating depression,” stated George Papakostas, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the study. “This new finding, albeit preliminary and in urgent need of replication, suggests significant, clinically meaningful differences in outcome among patients who had SAMe added to their antidepressant medication treatment compared to those taking a placebo with their medication,” he said. “Continued research, however, is urgently needed to more definitively further our understanding of the role of SAMe in the treatment of adults diagnosed with depression. Adjunctive SAMe therapy is promising, but cannot yet be recommended for widespread clinical use.”

The first-of-its-kind study was published in the August 2010 American Journal of Psychiatry. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are approximately 14.8 million people with major depressive disorders in the United States.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health funded the study.

 

 

Pharmavite, manufacturer of Nature Made SAM-e Complete, provided the SAMe supplements and placebo pills used in the study.

 

 

The study, "S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) Augmentation of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Antidepressant Nonresponders With Major Depressive Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial," is the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted on SAMe in a population of patients with major depressive disorders. A total of 73 adults were enrolled in this six -week study and randomly assigned to the placebo control group or the SAMe treatment group. SAMe, in combination with standard depression treatment, was more effective than antidepressant treatment alone in improving measures of depression and remission rates of patients with significant clinical depression. SAMe-treated subjects had a greater response and remission rate to treatment than the placebo-treated group. SAMe was well-tolerated with no reported adverse reactions.

 

 

To date, at least 40 clinical trials have been conducted on SAMe directly and in combination with traditional antidepressant medications. Studies have evaluated SAMe’s use in naturally restoring a healthy mood to the most recent research for treating major depressive disorders. This current study follows a pilot study published in 2004 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, which concluded that antidepressants used in combination with SAMe were significantly more effective in relieving depression than medication alone.

 

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KidZerts launches foot insoles for children

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO KidZerts on Sunday announced the introduction of its wear-moldable arch support insoles for children.

Features include a moldable sub-layer that slowly will mold to the child’s foot while he or she wears it, an antimicrobial top cover that kills odor-causing bacteria and wicks moisture, a heel cup for stability and alignment, a broad heel seat for additional foot comfort, a beveled forefoot for a smooth transition and a moderate arch for support and alignment.

KidZerts insoles were designed by a team that includes a podiatrist, a pedorthist and specialists in the manufacturing of insoles, the company stated.

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Meda to acquire Alaven

BY Michael Johnsen

STOCKHOLM Meda on Monday announced an agreement to acquire the specialty pharmaceutical company Alaven in a move that will “significantly enhance Meda’s marketing capabilities in the United States and expand the therapeutic focus to include both gastroenterology and women’s health — areas that Meda already operates in outside of the United States,” the company stated.

Meda also identified Alaven’s over-the-counter platform, which accounts for approximately 25% of Alaven’s sales, as an attractive element to the deal.

“Alaven’s products and business model are very similar to Meda’s, and we look forward to integrating their proven capabilities,” stated Meda CEO Anders Lonner. “The acquisition of Alaven enables our operations in the United States to become stronger and more profitable by taking advantage of cost and marketing synergies.”

Meda will pay $350 million on a cash and debt-free basis. Net debt is estimated at $63 million. Closing of the transaction is subject to standard closing requirements and antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission. The acquisition of Alaven is expected to be completed by early October.

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