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But there is some concern about the safety of chondroitin sulfate because it comes from animal sources. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of chondroitin products with diseased animal tissues, including those that might transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). So far, there are no reports of chondroitin causing disease in humans, and the risk is thought to be low. It can cause some mild stomach pain and nausea. Other side effects that have been reported are bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headache, swollen eyelids, leg swelling, hair loss, skin rash, and irregular heartbeat.
Some chondroitin products contain excess amounts of manganese. Ask your healthcare professional about reliable brands.
Chondroitin sulfate is POSSIBLY SAFE when injected into the muscle short-term, when applied to the skin short-term, when used as an eye drop short-term, and when inserted into the bladder with a catheter by a physician.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking chondroitin sulfate if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Asthma: There is some concern that chondroitin sulfate might make asthma worse. If you have asthma, use chondroitin sulfate cautiously.
Blood clotting disorders: In theory, administering chondroitin sulfate might increase the risk of bleeding in people with blood clotting disorders.
Prostate cancer: Early research suggests that chondroitin might cause the spread or recurrence of prostate cancer. This effect has not been shown with chondroitin sulfate supplements. However, until more is known, do not take chondroitin sulfate if you have prostate cancer or are at high risk for developing it (you have a brother or father with prostate cancer).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.