Topic: Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine in Treating Arthritis

Dr. Lee:
You mentioned side effects, are you aware of any long-term side effects of these two agents?

Dr. Shiel:
Glucosamine and chondroitin seem to be, in safety studies that have been done in the United States, basically as safe as taking placebo. Reported side effects include; stomach upset, gastrointestinal upset and skin rash, but these are infrequent and if they were to occur the supplement could be discontinued.

Glucosamine should not be taken by people with a history of allergy to shellfish. Levels of the blood-thinning medication, coumadin, may be affected by chondroitin sulfate. Recent reports have shown that glucosamine might elevate insulin levels in diabetics.

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For more information, please see MedicineNet.com's Osteoarthritis Center.
Last Editorial Review: 7/6/2004




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