Glucosamine & Chondroitin Tablets

Therapeutic Arthroscopic Procedures Viscosupplement Injections


Download

What is it and why?

  • These are protein supplements which are thought to help to rebuild the cartilage in the joint.

  • Not a NICE approved procedure.


  • Treatment involves Home/self-help
    Home/self-help
  • Treatment does not involve Hospital
    Hospital
  • Treatment does not involve Daycase procedure
    Daycase procedure
  • Treatment does not involve Inpatient procedure
    Inpatient procedure
  • Treatment does not involve Local anaesthetic
    Local anaesthetic
  • Treatment does not involve General anaesthetic
    General anaesthetic
  • Treatment does not involve Regional block / Spina
    Regional block / Spina
  • Pain
    Pain

    None

  • Mobility
    Mobility

    None

  • Daily activities
    Daily activities

    None

  • Driving
    Driving

    None

  • Leisure activities
    Leisure activities

    None

  • Light exercise
    Light exercise

    None

  • Heavy exercise
    Heavy exercise

    None

  • Light work
    Light work

    None

  • Heavy work
    Heavy work

    None

  • Intimate
    Intimate

    None


Overview

What does it involve?

  • Taking protein supplement tablets. These are not prescription medicines, so are not available on the NHS.

  • These supplements can be bought at any pharmacy or health store.

  • You're advised to take a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin. Usually, a higher dose of 1gm of glucosamine and 400mg of chondroitin is taken.

  • This treatment is not recommended by NICE.

Effort/burden

  • The tablets might be expensive.

  • You must take these supplements for a minimum of three months to find out if they're working for you.

  • You should continue with all other physical therapy methods while taking these supplements, as the tablets may not work on their own.

Benefits

  • Some studies show that these tablets may decrease the pain for some patients. Sponsored studies also show that, in some cases, the supplements can reverse the joint wear.

  • Some patients also report a decrease in the swelling.

Limitations and side effects

  • The knee pain may not diminish completely

  • The tablets might be too big to swallow, so you may have to break them. Liquid versions are available but are generally more expensive.

  • Some may develop a bloated feeling or loose stools in the initial stages. This tends to settle down over a period of time.

  • This treatment may interfere with the control of diabetes, so requires careful monitoring of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.

Risks

  • Patients with seafood allergies, especially prawn allergies, should not take this medication as it can set off a reaction.

  • This treatment is not recommended by NICE as an effective treatment for an arthritic knee.

Cost

  • The cost of these tablets is low for the patient and there is no cost for the NHS

  • Patient: Cost may vary depending on where you purchase the tablets; it's usually up to £1 a day for the treatment. It is best practice to purchase the tablets from reputable pharmacy stores.

  • If you're looking to purchase the vegan version, which is derived from seaweed, this is likely to be more expensive.

  • NHS: No cost for the NHS as this is not a prescription medication.

What if no treatment is done?

  • Ongoing pain.

  • Arthritis may deteriorate and affect your activities of daily living (ADL), family life, work environment and leisure activities.

  • If your condition progresses, you may require a more complex and demanding procedure later on.

  • If the arthritis progresses significantly, further treatment may not be available.

  • You may regret not opting for treatment earlier.


Therapeutic Arthroscopic Procedures Viscosupplement Injections