The results of the first North American study with glucosamine hydrochloride
were presented at the July 1998 meeting of the 12th Panamerican Congress of
Rheumatology in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Joseph Houpt, from Mount Sinai Hospital,
University of Toronto, Canada, in cooperation with Dr. Allan Russell, from
Brampton Pain Clinic in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, gave 47 individuals with
osteoarthritis glucosamine hydrochloride 500 mg three times a day for 8 weeks.
They compared the results to a placebo group of 47 individuals. At the
conclusion of the study, 49 percent of those receiving glucosamine noted
benefits. However, it appears that there is a high placebo effect in
osteoarthritis since 45 percent of those on placebo also reported feeling
better. Part of the reason of the high response from the placebo group may be
due to pre-study media hype. Patient expectations may have had a significant
effect on the clinical responses.
The researchers noted an improvement in the knee examination of patients in the
glucosamine group from the 4th to the 8th week. Dr. Russell adds, "The most
impressive finding was the significant decrease in pain which started at the
4th week and accelerated with time." Mild gastrointestinal side effects were
seen in 12 percent in both groups.