A study has evaluated the effectiveness of oral Glucosamine in subgroups of people with hip or knee osteoarthritis ( OA ) based on baseline pain severity, body mass index ( BMI ), sex, structural abnormalities and presence of inflammation using individual patient data.
After a systematic search of the literature and clinical trial registries, all randomised controlled trials ( RCTs ) evaluating the effect of any oral Glucosamine substance in patients with clinically or radiographically defined hip or knee osteoarthritis were contacted.
Of 21 eligible studies, six ( n=1663 ) shared their trial data with the OA Trial Bank. Five trials ( all independent of industry, n=1625 ) compared Glucosamine with placebo, representing 55% of the total number of participants in all published placebo-controlled RCTs.
Glucosamine was no better than placebo for pain or function at short ( 3 months ) and long-term ( 24 months ) follow-up.
Glucosamine was also no better than placebo among the predefined subgroups.
Stratification for knee osteoarthritis and type of Glucosamine did not alter these results.
In conclusion, although proposed and debated for several years, open trial data are not widely made available for studies of Glucosamine for osteoarthritis, especially those sponsored by industry.
Currently, there is no good evidence to support the use of Glucosamine for hip or knee osteoarthritis and an absence of evidence to support specific consideration of Glucosamine for any clinically relevant osteoarthritis subgroup according to baseline pain severity, BMI, sex, structural abnormalities or presence of inflammation. ( Xagena )
Runhaar J et al, Ann Rheum Dis 2017; 76:1862-1869