A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of glucosamine sulphate as an analgesic in osteoarthritis of the knee

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2002 Mar;41(3):279-84. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/41.3.279.


Objectives: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of the relative effectiveness of glucosamine sulphate and placebo in managing pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

Methods: Eighty patients with OA of the knee were recruited from a rheumatology out-patient clinic and received either glucosamine sulphate 1500 mg daily for 6 months or dummy placebo. The primary outcome measure was patients' global assessment of pain in the affected knee.

Results: Area under the curve analysis for the primary outcome measure showed no difference between placebo and glucosamine [mean difference 0.15 mm, 95% confidence interval (CI) -8.78 to 9.07]. The placebo response was 33%. There was a statistically significant difference between groups in knee flexion (mean difference 13 degrees, 95% CI -23.13 to -1.97), but this difference was small and could have been due to measurement error.

Conclusions: As a symptom modifier in OA patients with a wide range of pain severities, glucosamine sulphate was no more effective than placebo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucosamine / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Placebos
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics
  • Placebos
  • Glucosamine