Meta-Analysis of 54 Studies Supports Use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin as Combination Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

First Network Meta-Analysis to Compare Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and the Combination against Celecoxib or Placebo for Treatment of Knee OA

Dec 21, 2015, 08:00 ET from Nutramax Laboratories

EDGEWOOD, Md., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nutramax Laboratories Consumer Care, Inc. today announced the publication of a meta-analysis that provides evidence for the symptomatic efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin as combination therapy for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The results of the meta-analysis, which appear in the November 18 issue of Scientific Reports, conclude that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is associated with significant improvement in pain relief and functional enhancement, compared to placebo, while avoiding the high rate of gastrointestinal (GI) adverse effects (AEs) observed in patients receiving celecoxib, a selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

The meta-analysis comprises data from 54 studies covering 16,427 patients with knee OA. According to the authors, it is the first network meta-analysis (i.e., one that compares a set of treatments) to compare glucosamine, chondroitin, and the two in combination against celecoxib or placebo in the treatment of knee OA.

The investigators conducted an online search of electronic databases including PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library to select the 54 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that comprised the meta-analysis. In the 34 RCTs reporting changes in pain scores from baseline (as measured via a 10-centimeter [cm] visual analogue scale [VAS]), celecoxib, glucosamine alone, chondroitin alone, and the glucosamine/chondroitin combination were all significantly superior to placebo in relieving pain. However, only glucosamine plus chondroitin showed a clinically significant functional improvement from baseline, versus placebo.

Additionally, although no significant difference was observed among the five treatment options with respect to three "major" AEs (withdrawal due to AEs, serious AEs, and the number of patients with AEs), a "classical" meta-analysis (i.e., one that compares two treatments) showed that celecoxib was the only treatment option exhibiting a higher incidence of GI AEs versus  placebo.

"Our team at Nutramax Laboratories continues to support quality clinical trials of glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate and we are pleased to see, once again, third-party evidence that further supports our earlier research demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of this combination," said Dr. Brian Cornblatt, Medical Director of Nutramax Laboratories Consumer Care, Inc. "The results of this meta-analysis, combined with a wealth of recent evidence from well controlled trials, further validates the benefits of glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate, while also providing additional impetus for physicians to reexamine professional practice guidelines on the use of this supplement combination to manage joint health."

About the Nutramax Laboratories Family of Companies:
Since 1992, Christian-based Nutramax Laboratories has been developing products for people and their pets. Nutramax Laboratories Consumer Care, Inc., located in Edgewood, Maryland, focuses on researching and developing products to promote consumer health. Located in Lancaster, South Carolina, Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc. researches and develops high quality products to support animal health. Nutramax Manufacturing, Inc. manufactures products in both the Maryland and South Carolina locations.

Cosamin® joint health supplements, including the original Cosamin®DS and advanced formula Cosamin®ASU, are available at retailers across the U.S. to help support and promote joint health.

SOURCE Nutramax Laboratories