Supplements Details

Glucosamine Sulfate

What other names is Glucosamine Sulfate known by?

2-Amino-2-Deoxy-Beta-D-Glucopyranose, 2-Amino-2-Deoxy-D-Glucose Sulfate, 2-amino-2-deoxyglucose sulfate, Amino Monosaccharide, Chitosamine, Chlorure de Potassium-Sulfate de Glucosamine, D-Glucosamine, D-Glucosamine Sulfate, D-Glucosamine Sulphate, G6S, Glucosamine, Glucosamine Potassium Sulfate, Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCl, Glucosamine Sulfate-Potassium Chloride, Glucosamine Sulphate, Glucosamine Sulphate KCl, Glucosamine-6-Phosphate, GS, Mono-Sulfated Saccharide, Poly-(1->3)-N-Acetyl-2-Amino-2-Deoxy-3-O-Beta-D-Glucopyranurosyl-4-(or 6-) Sul, Saccharide Mono-Sulfaté, Saccharide Sulfaté, Sulfate de Glucosamine, Sulfate de Glucosamine 2KCl, SG, Sulfated Monosaccharide, Sulfated Saccharide, Sulfato de Glucosamina.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride and N-Acetyl Glucosamine are different than Glucosamine Sulfate. For information on these different products, see the Glucosamine Hydrochloride and N-Acetyl Glucosamine listings.

What is Glucosamine Sulfate?

Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical compound found in the fluid around joints. It can also be taken from natural sources such as seashells, or it can be made in the laboratory.

Don't confuse glucosamine sulfate with other forms such as glucosamine hydrochloride or N-acetyl-glucosamine. They may not have the same effects.

Is Glucosamine Sulfate effective?

Glucosamine sulfate can improve pain and movement in knees affected by osteoarthritis. It seems to work about as well as some nonprescription pain medications. But glucosamine takes about twice as long to work, four weeks instead of two. There is some evidence that glucosamine sulfate may actually keep the joint problems from getting worse. Other pain relievers can reduce the pain but do not prevent the disease from slowly destroying more of the joint. Glucosamine sulfate might not be as effective for reducing pain in more severe, long-standing osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine sulfate is often marketed in combination products that also contain chondroitin sulfate. So far, there is no evidence that the combination products work any better than glucosamine sulfate or chondroitin sulfate alone. Buying a combination product is probably not worth the extra cost.

Likely Effective for...

  • Osteoarthritis.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Glaucoma and weight loss.

How does Glucosamine Sulfate work?

Glucosamine in the body is used to make cartilage, a "cushion" that surrounds joints. In osteoarthritis, this cushion becomes thinner and stiff. Taking glucosamine sulfate as a supplement might help to supply the materials needed to rebuild cartilage. 

Are there safety concerns?

Glucosamine sulfate seems to be safe for most people. It can cause some mild side effects including nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. Uncommon side effects are drowsiness, skin reactions, and headache. Some glucosamine products do not contain the labeled amount of glucosamine or contain excessive amounts of manganese. Ask your healthcare professional about reliable brands.

Some preliminary research suggests that glucosamine sulfate might raise blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, more reliable research indicates that glucosamine sulfate does not seem to significantly affect blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. Glucosamine with routine blood sugar monitoring appears to be safe for most people with diabetes.

There is some concern that glucosamine products might cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to shellfish. Glucosamine is produced from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. But allergic reactions in people with shellfish allergy are caused by the meat of shellfish, not the shell. There are no reports of allergic reactions to glucosamine in people who are allergic to shellfish. There is also some information that people with shellfish allergy can safely take glucosamine products.

Do not take glucosamine if:

  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have asthma.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Warfarin (Coumadin)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. There are several reports showing that taking glucosamine sulfate with or without chondroitin increases the effect of warfarin (Coumadin), making blood clotting even slower. This can cause bruising and bleeding that can be serious. Don't take glucosamine sulfate if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin). Many natural medicines can interact with warfarin (Coumadin).



Medications for cancer (Antimitotic chemotherapy)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications for cancer work by decreasing how fast cancer cells can copy themselves. Some scientists think that glucosamine sulfate might increase how fast tumor cells can copy themselves. Taking glucosamine sulfate along with some medications for cancer might decrease the effectiveness of these medications for cancer. Any person who is receiving chemotherapy should talk with their health provider before taking glucosamine sulfate.

Some of these medications are etoposide (VP16, VePesid), teniposide (VM26), and doxorubicin (Adriamycin).



Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

There is some concern that taking glucosamine sulfate and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) together might affect how well each works. However, more information is needed to know if this interaction is a big concern. For now, most experts say it is okay to use both together.



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

There has been concern that glucosamine sulfate might increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. There was also the concern that glucosamine sulfate might decrease how well diabetes medications work. However, research now shows that glucosamine sulfate probably does not increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. Therefore, glucosamine sulfate probably does not interfere with diabetes medications. To be cautious, if you take glucosamine sulfate and have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosing considerations for Glucosamine Sulfate.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • Osteoarthritis: 1500 mg once daily or 500 mg three times daily.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis: 500 mg three times daily.

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