Study backs glucosamine plus chondroitin for OA knee pain

The multinational study of 600 patients with grades 2–3 knee osteoarthritis (OA) and moderate to severe pain found those randomised to receive chondroitin sulfate 400mg plus glucosamine hydrochloride 500mg three times a day experienced just as much improvement in joint pain, stiffness and functional ability at six months as a group randomised to receive daily celecoxib 200mg.

Previous reports about the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for knee OA have been conflicting because of inconsistencies in formulations tested and trial design, the study authors said.

The new findings support the 2008 Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), which found that glucosamine hydrochloride plus chondroitin sulfate might provide clinically significant pain relief for patients with moderate to severe knee OA pain, despite being ineffective against milder OA pain.

The reduction in pain in the new study was both clinically important and