• June 1st, 2015

What is the Current Status of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine for Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most disabling arthritic conditions in knee joint. Its pathogenesis is complex and doubtful and its management is a real challenge for medical community.

The goals of the treatment in osteoarthritis are:

1- Controlling the pain

2- Preserving the joint structures

3- Improving the quality of life

Achieving these goals relies on a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches.

Glucosamine (GlcN) and Chondroitin sulfate (CS) are two natural compounds considered as “Symptomatic Slow-Acting Drugs for OA (SYSADOA).

The proposed beneficial effects for these two drugs are:

1- Increasing the synthesis of type II collagen and proteoglycans in chondrocytes.

2- Reducing the production of some proinflammatory cytokines and proteases.

3- Reducing the cellular death process.

4- Improving the anabolic-catabolic balance of extracellular cartilage matrix.

There are many controversies on the indications of these two products. Several Guidelines recommend them as a treatment strategy for OA, however many other guidelines abstain from this recommendation. Some consider them as a drug while others behave them like a supplement. In most European countries, they are prescribed as a drug whereas in US, they are delivered over-the-counter and are not considered as a drug.

Some authors use GlcN and CS as a combination therapy for synergistic potency with a dosage of 500 mg TDS for GlcN and 400 mg TDS for CS.