Generic name: glucosamine [ glue-KOE-sah-meen ]
Brand names: Genicin, Optiflex-G
Dosage forms: oral capsule (500 mg); oral tablet (500 mg; 750 mg; hydrochloride 1500 mg)
Drug class: Nutraceutical products
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is sugar protein that helps your body build cartilage (the hard connective tissue located mainly on the bones near your joints).
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in bones, bone marrow, shellfish and fungus.
Glucosamine has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to relieving joint pain, swelling, and stiffness caused by arthritis.
Not all uses for glucosamine have been approved by the FDA. Glucosamine should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Glucosamine is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Glucosamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies , and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this product if you are allergic to glucosamine.
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
- high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
- liver disease ;
- asthma or other breathing disorder;
- if you are allergic to shellfish; or
- if you take a blood thinner ( warfarin , Coumadin , Jantoven ).
It is not known whether glucosamine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
Glucosamine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.
How should I take glucosamine?
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use glucosamine, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Do not use different formulations of glucosamine at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of glucosamine.
glucosamine can cause unusual results with a blood glucose (sugar) test. Do not use this product without a doctor’s advice if you are diabetic.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using glucosamine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
It may take up to 8 weeks before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using glucosamine as directed.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using glucosamine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra glucosamine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking glucosamine?
Some glucosamine products also contain manganese. Taking too much of this combination can cause a manganese overdose. Do not take more than directed on the medicine label.
Glucosamine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Common side effects of glucosamine may include:
- nausea , vomiting ;
- diarrhea , constipation ; or
- heartburn .
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Glucosamine side effects (more detail)
Glucosamine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Dietary Supplement:
This product is a dietary supplement with no official approved dosing. Consult product labeling.
Detailed Glucosamine dosage information
What other drugs will affect glucosamine?
Other drugs may interact with glucosamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins , and herbal products . Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.