Chondroitin Sulfate & Glucosamine: Side Effects

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.

The published answers represent the opinions and perspectives of the doctors and pharmacists of and are for educational purposes only. They should not be used to replace or substitute for timely consultation with your doctor. Accuracy of information cannot be guaranteed.

Please remember, information can be subject to interpretation and can become obsolete.

For more information, please see's Osteoarthritis Center.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors