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Glucosamine Bests Placebo, Acetaminophen for Knee Pain

GUIDE study suggests glucosamine sulfate is best choice for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Glucosamine sulfate may be more effective at treating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis than placebo or acetaminophen, according to results from the Glucosamine Unum In Die (once-a-day) Efficacy (GUIDE) trial, published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont, M.D., of the Fundacion Jimenez Diaz-Capio in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues measured the effects of a 1,500 mg daily dose of glucosamine against a 3,000 mg daily dose of acetaminophen, or placebo, taken for six months in 318 knee osteoarthritis patients. The acetaminophen was used as a side comparator.

Glucosamine sulfate and acetaminophen had greater efficacy than placebo use in reducing pain, but patients taking glucosamine sulfate appeared to experience more relief than did those on acetaminophen. Specifically, acetaminophen failed to reach a significant difference on the Lequesne and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis indexes. Overall, 39.6 percent of patients responded to glucosamine, 33.3 percent responded to acetaminophen and 21.2 percent responded to placebo, the report indicates. All study medications were comparable in terms of safety.

"These data confirm the results obtained in previous long-term (three-year) clinical studies and the general clinical trial experience with this particular glucosamine formulation," the researchers conclude.

This study was supported by Rottapharm.

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