Glucosamine

Glucosamine Brand Names- Genicin | OptiFlex-G

What is Glucosamine

Glucosamine is one of several naturally-occurring 6-carbon amino sugars found in the body. Amino sugars are essential building blocks for mucopolysaccharides, mucoproteins, and mucolipids.

Examples of mucopolysaccharides include chondroitin, heparin, and hyaluronic acid. Connective tissue is composed of the insoluble protein fibers collagen and elastin which are embedded in a continuous acellular matrix called the ‘ground substance.’ Ground substance is found in the dermis (stratum corneum), tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone matrix.

The characteristics of these connective tissues vary according to the amounts of collagen and elastin they contain.

For example, Achilles tendon is 32% collagen and 2.6% elastin while ligamentum nuchae contains 7% collagen and 32% elastin. Ground substance is made of, in part, mucopolysaccharides.

Since glucosamine is a building block for mucopolysaccharides, notably, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, there is currently a great deal of interest in supplementing glucosamine to enhance the biosynthesis of new ground substance.

Glucosamine is sold as a non-prescription dietary supplement; it is currently not classified as a drug by the FDA.

Some commercial products contain glucosamine in combination with chondroitin.

Indications

  • osteoarthritis

For use as an adjunct in the management of osteoarthritis

Side Effects

  1. abdominal pain
  2. anorexia
  3. constipation
  4. diarrhea
  5. dyspepsia
  6. edema
  7. fatigue
  8. headache
  9. nausea
  10. pyrosis (heartburn)
  11. rash
  12. vomiting

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary

Contraindications

  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • diabetes mellitus
  • GI disease
  • hepatic disease
  • pregnancy
  • renal disease
  • renal failure
  • renal impairment

Interactions

  • Ethanol
  • food
  • Warfarin
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