Analgesics for Osteoarthritis—An Update
Background: Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural compounds found in cartilage, and both are marketed to patients who have osteoarthritis. Their precise mechanisms of action are unknown but may involve promotion of maintenance and repair of cartilage.
In European countries, glucosamine is available as a prescription drug. In the United States, however, glucosamine and chondroitin are dietary supplements and are not regulated as pharmaceuticals. Thus, adequate standardization of glucosamine and chondroitin preparations is a significant concern. It has been shown that the actual content of different commercial preparations of chondroitin and glucosamine often varies substantially from what is stated on the label. Such inconsistencies may have implications on estimates of effectiveness and safety.
- Adebowale AO, Cox DS, Liang Z, et al. Analysis of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate content in marketed products and the caco-2 permeability of chondroitin sulfate raw materials. J Am Nutraceutical Assoc 2000;3(1):37-44.
- Chou R, McDonagh M, Nakamoto E, et al. Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Analgesics for Osteoarthritis: An Update of the 2006 Report. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 38 (Prepared by Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. HHSA 290-2007-10057-I). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2011. AHRQ Publication No. 11(12)-EHC076-EF. Available at: http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/reports/analgesicsupdate.cfm.
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