Do you have osteoarthritis? Have you taken glucosamine?
February 1, 2018 2:54 PM   Subscribe

(YANMD) I was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hands and neck. I’m on Diclofenac for pain, which has helped a lot. My rheumatologist told me I could consider adding glucosamine. He said studies are mixed on the effectiveness but that if I wanted to try it, it might be worth it to see if it would bring additional relief. I’d like to hear from people with osteoarthritis who have taken glucosamine—what effects, if any, did you experience as a result?
posted by bookmammal to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Consider adding chondroitin and exercise for the hands and neck.
posted by parmanparman at 3:22 PM on February 1, 2018

Costco has a chondroitin/ glucosamine that is cheap and large dose and worth a try. I've given those two to a lot of animals over the years and for some its a miracle cure and for others it does nothing. I suppose it depends on what kind of arthritis. My impression is it works best on specific injury related arthritis, not general inflammation related arthritis if that makes sense.
posted by fshgrl at 3:44 PM on February 1, 2018

I have taken Cosamin DS for years for osteoarthritis. I stopped at one point because of the cost and definitely noticed an increase in pain level. I also tried a couple of other brands and they did not work as well. I unfortunately do not remember the names of those. I try and buy it on sale at Walgreens.
posted by SJustS at 3:56 PM on February 1, 2018

Did not work for my foot osteoarthritis.
posted by SyraCarol at 4:10 PM on February 1, 2018

I think it helped when I had problems with my elbows and forearms, but that was overuse rather than osteoarthritis. I started taking it again for knee osteoarthritis maybe a year ago and was wondering if it was doing anything, since I didn't feel any better. I stopped taking it within the past month or two and I can't say I have noticed any difference.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:38 PM on February 1, 2018

I started taking Cosamin ASU a couple months ago for the trauma induced arthritis I have in my ankle. The difference I noticed after a couple days on the loading dose was significant. I went from hobbling around for a few minutes everytime I started walking after sitting a while to being able to walk normally straight away. Aspirin and Tylenol never gave me the same relief and I'd hate to take them daily anyway. I say give it a try. If it works, it works! I buy it through Amazon and I think $.70 a day is worth it.
posted by onebyone at 4:48 PM on February 1, 2018

If you're allergic to sulfa drugs take the hydrochloride instead of the sulfate.
posted by brujita at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have osteoarthritis in both knees, and ankles. I took glucosamine with chondroitin and MSM (all in one capsule) for almost a year, with no noticeable difference in pain level, so I no longer buy it.
Tart cherry concentrate helps a bit, though, as do THC gummies at the end of the workday.
posted by BostonTerrier at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have osteoarthritis (just a knee), among other arthritises, and glucosamine and chondoitin did zero for me except give me nausea.
posted by Pax at 8:06 PM on February 1, 2018

I take "Move Free Ultra" after previously taking Move Free 5 with glucosamine and chondroitin for my knee osteoarthritis. I think it helps as it hurts more without it. I would definitely try, anyway.
posted by bquarters at 8:26 PM on February 1, 2018

I have been taking glucosamine/msm/chondroitin in some combination for most of the last 20 years. I started taking it at the recommendation of an RSI specialist to whom my employer sent me for thoracic outlet syndrome about that long ago. i continue to take it because it helps me.

Taking after my mother, I have since developed osteoarthritis primarily in my hands. It is only really painful when it starts in on a new joint (you should see my knuckles, or maybe not) or occasionally for reasons I cannot attribute to any particular cause. At those times it feels like a very fine stiff needle being thrust lengthwise through the joint. The most continuous aching joint is my thumbs. I continue to take the glucosamine because it does seem to minimize the pain over the long haul. I only occasionally use Aleve or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. I also avoid eating very much wheat and try to keep my sugar intake low because those seem to contribute noticeably to my overall level of inflammation.

One note of caution: most glucosamine is derived from shellfish. About two years after I started taking it, I very suddenly and rudely became allergic to the wonderful shellfish I once loved so much. Now I cannot eat any seafood that doesn't have an internal skeleton - shrimp, crab, clams, oysters, mussels, calamari and so on. I can't eat fries at places that also have fried shellfish unless they absolutely have a separate fryer. I no longer ever eat at certain chain restaurants where I have had reactions despite always informing the server of my allergy. Early on I tested it out by having a tiny piece of sausage out of some jambalaya my daughter ordered. Never again. I was on a project in Rhode Island for a few months - did you know that it is really really difficult to find a place to eat there where seafood doesn't figure prominently on the menu?

I cannot say for certain that glucosamine was the reason for the sudden appearance of my allergy, however, after receiving 12 million units of penicillin a day for 10 days for an infection in the joint capsule of my knee, I became allergic to penicillin.
posted by Altomentis at 9:23 PM on February 1, 2018

Dogs ≠ Humans, but we've had much better luck with Cetyl M (cis-9-cetyl myristoleate) than glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplements in osteoarthritic animals. It seems to take effect much faster as well; typically within 3 days. Horse people and other large livestock owners swear by it, which is how we discovered the supplement.

Cetyl M is available in a formulation for humans. But all of the formulations are pretty safe; I know at least one cheap old farmer who takes a weight-adjusted horse formulation dose.
posted by muirne81 at 9:25 AM on February 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

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