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OARSI – Recommendation XVIII: Glucosamine and Chondroitin Work

July 30, 2010

This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

glucosamine and chondroitin

Recommendation XVIII

Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulphate may be effective in providing symptomatic pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Analysis of eight randomized controlled trials involving 755 patients reported moderate pain reduction.  However with so many products on the market with varying purity levels of glucosamine and chondroitin there is significant controversy as to the efficacy of this treatment option for knee osteoarthritis.

No adverse effects are reported from long-term use of glucosamine and chondroitin.  However if no response is apparent within 6 months treatment should be discontinued.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 63%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


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