CDS, Chondroitin sulfate, Chondroitin-4 and 6-sulfate
- Indications with possible efficacy:
Mild to moderate osteoarthritis - symptoms reduction (popular use)
- Indications with no proof of efficacy:
Ischemic heart disease
Myocardial infarction prevention
- Risk of Drug Interactions: Low
- Adverse Effects: Rare
It comes from: bovine, porcine or avian cartilage
Chondroitin, a mucopolysaccharide, is one of the main constituents of cartilage. It is related to glucosamine. Chondroitin comes from natural sources or is synthetically manufactured. It plays a role in the formation of joint cartilage. When taken orally, it's absorption is only about 8 to 18%.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are often combined in a single product. However, it is not known if this combination is any more beneficial than taking each product alone. A possible synergy between these products remains to be established.
Direction of use
Chondroitin effectively relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis and it might slow progression of osteoarthritis. However, pain relief is possibly modest and it may take up to 3 months to see improvement.
Used doses: 200 to 400 mg 2 to 3 times a day, or 800 to 1200 mg as a single daily dose
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that chondroitin sulfate is effective in any other indication.
- Side effects
Chondroitin is not associated with any severe toxicity. Some people may experience epigastric pain, nausea, diarrhea, lower limb edema, hair loss, palpitations. Allergic reactions are possible.
It is contraindicated to take chondroitin in cases of asthma, prostate cancer or coagulation disorders.
Use with caution if you also take anticoagulant medication (Coumadin); an adjustment may be necessary.
- Pregnancy and lactation
Since there is no safety data available concerning its use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, pregnant and lactating women should not take chondroitin.
- Chondroitin is structurally related to glucosamine and its action appears to be similar.
- When taken at doses higher than the recommended dosage, it can supply greater than upper limit daily dose of manganese.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
- Pharmacist's Letter, CE Booklet: Natural Medicines in Clinical Management, Fall 1999
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Lininger S. et Al. The Natural Pharmacy, Prima Health, 1998
- Passeportsanté.net. Chondroïtine. www.passeportsante.net
- Rotblatt M. et Ziment I. Evidence-Based Herbal Medicine, Hanley & Belfus, 2002
- Taylor J. CE: Phytomedicinals: Uses, precautions, and drug interactions. Drug Topics 2003;1:79
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th Edition, 2010
- Health Canada, Natural Products Database
[UNIPRIX] © Copyright Vigilance Santé
The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.