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Glucosamine In Osteoarthritis

  • Several trials have demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of oral glucosamine administration in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In the trials where glucosamine has been compared to NSAIDs long-term reductions in pain are greater in patients receiving glucosamine4.

  • Twenty-four patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to a treatment group (500 mg glucosamine three times per day orally) or placebo group for 6-8 weeks. A significant alleviation of selfassessed degree of articular pain, joint tenderness and swelling was reported by the group receiving glucosamine. Results were confirmed by physician assessment of efficacy with the outcome rated as “excellent” in all 10 patients receiving glucosamine and “fair” to “poor” in patients receiving placebo4.

  • Reichelt et al4 have demonstrated the efficacy of intramuscular injections of glucosamine in a placebocontrolled double-blind trial conducted with 155 outpatient diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. Intramuscular injections of glucosamine (400 mg) were given twice a week for six weeks. A favorable response rate to therapy was reported in 55% of patients given IM glucosamine and 33% of patients receiving placebo. During a 12-month study period glucosamine had a chondroprotective activity which was significant after the first 3 months of therapy.

  • Hehne et al4 treated 68 patients with mild or  moderate degeneration of the knee joint by injecting glucosamine intra-articularly for six weeks. Twothirds of the patients responded favorably to the therapy. “Loading” pain was eliminated or improved in about 80% “getting-going” pain in about 64% and signs of synovialitis in about 66%. The authors noted that glucosamine had a superior effect overall, particularly in individuals with mild arthritis achieving an improvement of pain in 90% of patients.