Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, components of normal cartilage that are marketed as dietary supplements in the United States, have been evaluated for their potential role in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Due to claims of efficacy, increased prevalence of osteoarthritis, and a lack of other effective therapies, there has been substantial interest in using these dietary supplements as therapeutic agents for osteoarthritis. Though pharmacokinetic and bioavailability data are limited, use of these supplements has been evaluated for management of osteoarthritis symptoms and modification of disease progression. Relevant clinical trial efficacy and safety data are reviewed and summarized.
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