GLUCOSAMINE / CHONDROITIN SULFATE
(for veterinary information only)
BRAND NAMES: COSEQUIN, DASUQUIN, GLYCOFLEX, FLEXADIN, CANIFLEX, SYNOVI, AND NUMEROUS (NEARLY UNCOUNTABLE) OTHERS
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Degenerative arthritis is a painful condition frequently treated with pain-relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, supplements, physical therapy and even weight loss. It has long been accepted that treatment best involves a combination of complementary therapies from the above list. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are not only cartilage building blocks but they can have anti-inflammatory properties of their own, making them excellent additions to any joint support protocol.
In a normal joint, cartilage breakdown is balanced by cartilage production. In the diseased joint, there is more breakdown than production. Glucosamine & chondroitin sulfates are components of cartilage and the theory is that by taking these precursors orally, one's body can use them to repair and rebuild cartilage where it is damaged. This has actually borne out and studies show that cartilage "building blocks" taken orally are indeed utilized in cartilage repair. The cartilage cells of the joint are able to manufacture their own glucosamine but this ability appears to decrease with disease and with age and may not be able to keep up with the need for glucosamine when there is an increased demand. It has further been suggested that these substances may have anti-inflammatory properites of their own and/or may act by stimulating the synthesis of joint lubricants and collagen within the damaged joint, thus contributing further therapeutic benefit.
USES OF THIS MEDICATION
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates might be used in any joint condition involving the classical joint structure (2 bones with cartilage covered ends articulating, a fibrous capsule with ligaments connecting the bones, and lubricating fluid assisting the smooth motion of the joint). Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates are not likely to be helpful with disease involving other types of joints (i.e. the vertebrae and intervertebral discs).
Usually an initial higher dose is given for the first month or so and then a lower maintenance dose is given long term thereafter. The general belief is that 2-6 weeks of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate administration is necessary before a response can be seen.
In humans, glucosamine supplements can adversely impact asthma symptoms. This appears to be a human situation but it may be prudent to avoid it in patients with airway constriction.
Upset stomach has been reported in small animals as a rare side effect.
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS
None have ever been reported.
Be sure to store the product away from moisture and away from light.
Page last updated: 9/15/2020