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Chondroitin and glucosamine for osteoarthritis

MONTREAL, CANADA. This combined alternative treatment of for the pain of osteoarthritis has been around for a long time and generally debunked by mainstream medicine, partly because of a 2006 study which found the combination failed to reduce pain in knee arthritis. Ignored however was a result from a subgroup in this study that that found for individuals with severe pain, this combination worked as well or even somewhat better than Celebrex (celecoxib) with 54% of patients experiencing a 50% or greater reduction in a standard pain score compared to 34% of the placebo group and 48% of the Celebrex group. A significant improvement in a standard joint function score was found only with the combination treatment vs. the placebo.

A recent randomized trial of the combination alternative treatment vs. Celebrex has now confirmed these results in patients with severe knee pain and osteoarthritis. The combination was found comparable to Celebrex in reducing pain, stiffness, functional limitations and joint swelling after 6 months. It was also observed that the combination required longer than Celebrex to become effective with the convergence was complete at 6 months. The doses were 400 mg of chondroitin and 500 mg of glucosamine 2 times a day or 200 mg of Celebrex plus 5 placebos to maintain the blinded aspect of the trial. An important aspect of these results is that the combination therapy had no adverse side effects, where Celebrex along with the entire class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are associated with a number of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular risks.

Hochberg MC, Martel-Pelletier J, Monfort J et al. Combined chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for painful knee osteoarthritis: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority trial versus celecoxib. Ann Rheum Dis 2015 January 14

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