Glucosamine Tops Ibuprofen in Treatment of TMJ Osteoarthritis

Glucosamine Tops Ibuprofen
in Treatment of TMJ Osteoarthritis

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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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.

QUOTES FROM: J Rheumatol 2001;   28:   1347–55

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