Health Guide


What is it?

Glucosamine is a dietary supplement used to treat arthritis (osteoarthritis).

Other names for glucosamine include: Chitosamine and glucosamine sulfate.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you ...

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement).
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
  • are breastfeeding.
  • have an allergy to shellfish and shellfish products.
  • have asthma. Your asthma could get worse if you take glucosamine and chondroitin together.
  • have any other health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart or blood vessel disease.


Talk with your caregiver about how much glucosamine you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking glucosamine. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take glucosamine without talking to your doctor if you are taking:

  • Medicines used to lower blood sugar, or to treat diabetes (examples: metformin (Glucophage(R)); glyburide (Diabeta(R), Glynase(R), Micronase(R)); pioglitazone (Actos(R)))
  • Medicines used to treat cancer (examples: doxorubicin (Adriamycin(R)), etoposide (Vepesid(R)), teniposide (Vumon(R))
  • Blood thinning medicines (examples: phenprocoumon (Liquamar(R)); warfarin (Coumadin(R))


  • Before taking glucosamine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you have diabetes or problems with your blood sugar, talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine.
  • This medicine contains products made from shellfish. If you are allergic to shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, lobster, or crayfish (crawdads), check with your doctor first before deciding to take this medicine (8).

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • You may vomit (throw up), have nausea (upset stomach), stomach pain, constipation (hard time having a BM), diarrhea (loose BMs), heartburn, or no appetite
  • You may feel tired, have a headache, or be unable to sleep
  • You may have edema (swelling) in the ankles
  • Your heart may beat faster than usual
  • You may get a skin rash if you get glucosamine by injection (shot)


1. Anon: Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Available at: Accessed 12/11/2002.

2. D'Ambrosio E, Casa B, Bompani R et al: Glucosamine sulfate: a controlled clinical investigation in arthrosis. Pharmatherapeutica 1981; 2: 504-508.

3. Mueller-Fassbender H, Bach GL, Haase W et al: Glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 1994; 2:61-69.

4. Reichelt A, Forster KK, Fischer M et al: Efficacy and safety of intramuscular glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study. Arzneimittelforschung 1994; 44:75-80.

5. Tapadinhas MJ, Rivera IC & Bignamini AA: Oral glucosamine sulphate in the management of arthrosis: report on a multi-centre open investigation in Portugal. Pharmatherapeutica 1982; 3:157-168.

6. Yun J, Tomida A, Nagata K et al: Glucose-regulated stresses confer resistance to VP-16 in human cancer cells through a decreased expression of DNA topoisomerase II. Oncol Res 1995; 7(12):583-590.

7. Rozenfeld V, Crain JL & Callahan KA: Possible augmentation of warfarin effect by glucosamine-chondroitin. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2004; 61:306-307.

8. Product Information: Glucosamine hcl chondroitin sulfate oral tablets. Puritan's Pride, Bohemia, NY, 2006.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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