Objective: To compare the treatment potential of glucosamine sulfate (GS) and ibuprofen in patients diagnosed with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods: Forty women and 5 men received either GS (500 mg tid) or ibuprofen (400 mg tid) for 90 days in a randomized double blind study.
Assessment: TMJ pain with function, pain-free, and voluntary maximum mouth opening, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) questionnaire and masticatory muscle tenderness were performed after a one week washout and at Day 90. Acetaminophen (500 mg) dispensed for breakthrough pain was counted every 30 days to Day 120.
Results: In total, 176 adults were interviewed, 45 (26%) qualified, 39 (87%) completed the study (21 GS, 18 ibuprofen). Four discontinued due to stomach upset (3 ibuprofen, one GS), one due to dizziness (GS), one due to inadequate pain control (ibuprofen). Within-group analysis revealed significant improvement compared to baseline of all variables in both treatment groups but no change in acetaminophen used. Fifteen GS (71%) and 11 ibuprofen (61%) improved, with positive clinical response taken as a 20% decrease in primary outcome (TMJ pain with function). The number of patients with positive clinical response was not statistically different between groups (p = 0.73). Between-group comparison revealed that patients taking GS had a significantly greater decrease in TMJ pain with function, effect of pain, and acetaminophen used between Day 90 and 120 compared with patients taking ibuprofen.
Conclusion: GS and ibuprofen reduce pain levels in patients with TMJ degenerative joint disease. In the subgroup that met the initial efficacy criteria, GS had a significantly greater influence in reducing pain produced during function and effect of pain with daily activities. GS has a carryover effect.