OTC Pearl of the Day: Glucosamine Chondroitin

Oral use of glucosamine hydrochloride may reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.

OTC Pearl of the Day: Glucosamine Chondroitin

Indication: Oral use of glucosamine sulfate may provide some pain relief for people with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Insight:

  • Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage—the tough tissue that cushions joints.
  • In supplement form, glucosamine is harvested from shells of shellfish or made in a lab.
  • Research suggests that oral use of glucosamine hydrochloride may reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Adverse effects may include nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Interactions: Taking glucosamine sulfate and acetaminophen together may reduce the efficacy of both the supplement and medication. Taking glucosamine alone or in combination with the supplement chondroitin may increase the effects of the anticoagulant warfarin. This can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Mechanism of action: Glucosamine chondroitin action can be explained by a dual mechanism: (1) as basic components of cartilage and synovial fluid, it stimulates the anabolic process of the cartilage metabolism; (2) its anti-inflammatory action can delay many inflammation-induced catabolic processes in the cartilage.

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