glucosamine

General

Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.

Pronunciation:
glew-kos-ah-meen


Trade Name(s)

  • 2-amino-2-deoxyglucose sulfate
  • chitosamine

Ther. Class.
antirheumatics

Common Uses

  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis.
  • Glaucoma.

Action

May stop or slow osteoarthritis progression by stimulating cartilage and synovial tissue metabolism.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Decreased pain and improved joint function.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption: 0.9% absorbed

Distribution: Unknown

Metabolism and Excretion: 74% eliminated via first-pass metabolism

Half-life: Unknown

TIME/ACTION PROFILE

ROUTEONSETPEAKDURATION
POunknownunknownunknown

Contraindication/Precautions

Contraindicated in:

  • Shellfish allergy (glucosamine is often derived from marine exoskeletons)
  • Pregnancy and lactation.

Use Cautiously in:

  • Diabetes (may worsen glycemic control)
  • Asthma (may exacerbate symptoms)
  • Surgery (may affect blood glucose levels, discontinue glucosamine 2 wk before elective procedures)

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

GI: nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation

Derm: skin reactions

Endo: hyperglycemia

Neuro: headache, drowsiness

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.

Interactions

Natural Drug Interaction

Natural-Natural:

None known.

Route/Dosage

PO (Adults): 500 mg three times daily.

Topical (Adults): use cream as needed for up to 8 wk.

Availability

Tablets: 500 mgOTC

Capsules: 500 mgOTC

Topical cream: 30 mg/g in combination with other ingredientsOTC

Assessment

  • Assess for shellfish allergy prior to initiating therapy.
  • Monitor pain (type, location, and intensity) and range of motion periodically during therapy.
  • Assess bowel function periodically during therapy. Constipation may be reduced by increased fluid intake and bulk in diet; bulk laxatives may be added if necessary.

Lab Test Considerations:

Monitor serum glucose levels periodically during therapy for patients with diabetes.

Potential Diagnoses

  • Chronic pain (Indications) 
  • Impaired physical mobility (Indications) 

Implementation

  • Administer prior to meals.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patients that effects of this drug come from stimulating cartilage and synovial tissue metabolism and that the supplement must be taken on a regular basis to achieve benefit. Do not use as an intermittent pain medication.
  • Caution patients with a shellfish allergy that this herbal supplement should not be used.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if gastric discomfort develops and persists.
  • Advise diabetic patients to monitor glucose values closely during initial therapy.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Improvement in pain and range of motion.

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