WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Jun 20, 2001 –– Glucosamine sulfate proved to be more
effective than ibuprofen in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis of
the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), according to the results of a study
conducted by Canadian investigators (Dr. Norman Thie of the University of Alberta). Glucosamine also exhibited a carryover
effect that was absent from ibuprofen treatment. Researchers of the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, evaluated 176 subjects
with radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease and joint space
narrowing. Thirty–nine subjects who completed the 90–day treatment were
randomized to received glucosamine 500 mg t.i.d. or ibuprofen 400 mg t.i.d.
Subjects were permitted to take acetaminophen for breakthrough pain. The two
treatment group had similar in outcomes, the investigators report in the June
issue of the Journal of Rheumatology, with 71% of glucosamine– and 61% of
ibuprofen–treated patients experiencing at least a 20% decrease in TMJ pain.
Those taking glucosamine, however, exhibited better control of functional
pain and greater reductions in the effect of pain on daily activities. These
patients also used significantly less acetaminophen during the 30 days
following trial cessation than did those in the ibuprofen group. Four
patients randomized to ibuprofen treatment withdrew, three because of stomach
upset and one because of inadequate pain control. One patient in the
glucosamine group discontinued treatment because of dizziness and one because
of stomach upset. Based on their findings, Dr. Major's team estimates that
50% of patients prescribed glucosamine will achieve a 50% or greater
reduction in joint pain on function, and 70% of patients will have a 39% or
greater reduction of pain.
J Rheumatol 2001; 28: 1347–55