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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Glucosamine

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Glucosamine [posted 7/17/98]
Question: What is "glucosamine"? What is the benefit for back injuries?

Answer: This is a drug recently touted as a help for degenerative (osteo)arthritis. Some of my patients think it has helped, but theoretically there is no particular reason it should. There appears to be little risk with the drug and it is reasonably cheap, so I've never had a problem with people trying it. See for yourself. I doubt you'll see much change, but some people swear by it.

Question: I have worn cartilage in my hip joint and have quite a bit of pain and I want to know if Glucosamine will help me or is it just another gimmick?

Answer: I have several patients who have tried this and some thinks that it helps. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects. I have no problem with a trial period to see if it helps. Research in this area is poor.
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