Knee Pain: The Verdict Is In On Glucosamine vs. Prescription Pain Killers
Knee pain sufferers who weren't sure if they should take the supplement glucosamine or pain killers for knee pain relief now have some answers to this frequently debated question.
Two clinical trials have found that knee pain sufferers got more pain relief with glucosamine than with a commonly used painkiller in Europe.
Glucosamine is already widely used for knee pain and other arthritis related ailments in the United States. US consumers spent $800 million on glucosamine during 2004, and in Japan retail sales reached $200 million, according to Euromonitor.
Glucosamine is often used in combination with chondroitin sulphate.
One trial by the US government-funded National Institutes of Health involved almost 1,500 osteoarthritis patients. They were given a daily dose of either 1,500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulphate, a combination of both supplements, 200 mg of the common prescription painkiller celecoxib (Celebrex) or a placebo for 24 weeks.
The patients were evaluated at baseline and every four weeks thereafter.
The authors of the study said celecoxib and the glucosamine-chondroitin combination significantly reduced knee pain compared to placebo.
Another study done at the Fundacion Jimenez Diaz in Madrid found glucosamine sulphate to be more effective than the over-the-counter painkiller acetaminophen on joint pain.
The Madrid trial compared a daily dose of 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate and 3000 mg of the OTC drug to a placebo in 318 patients.
After 24 weeks, the superior efficacy of the glucosamine returned better results.
In both trials there were no differences among groups in safety.
The new findings on glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate come as welcome news to knee pain sufferers because of the withdrawal of Cox-2 inhibitor drugs last year.
About the Author: For additional information, including links to other news stories and websites, visit http://www.kneepain.us and http://www.myjointpain.us/jointpainglucosamine.htm. George McKenzie is a free lance writer and CEO of Mastermind Learning Systems http://www.mastermindlearning.com. He's a
former TV news anchor and radio talk show host.