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Side Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Side Effects To Report

It is a good idea to let your healthcare provider know if you experience any possible glucosamine and chondroitin side effects, however minor they seem. Definitely be sure to report any serious, unusual, or distressing side effects, such as heart palpitations or swollen eyelids. Glucosamine is derived from the shells of lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. Theoretically, people with shellfish allergies could develop allergic reactions to glucosamine (although most people are allergic to proteins in the meat of shellfish, not the actual shells). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
 
  • A rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
     
There has been concern that glucosamine may cause kidney toxicity or might negatively affect cholesterol or blood pressure. However, these problems have not been seen in long-term studies of glucosamine.
 
There is some concern that poorly prepared chondroitin could be contaminated with mad cow disease, since many chondroitin supplements are made from cow cartilage. However, there have been no reports of mad cow disease due to chondroitin supplements.
 
There is also some concern that chondroitin could increase the risk of bleeding, especially in people who have a bleeding disorder or who take "blood thinners" (anticoagulants) or antiplatelet medications. Although this risk seems quite small (perhaps nonexistent), be sure to watch for any unusual bruising or bleeding.
 

Final Thoughts on Side Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin

It is possible that you may experience some or none of the side effects explained above. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine or supplement that you have never tried. Make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking glucosamine and chondroitin or if something "just does not seem right" during treatment. While it may not be a side effect of glucosamine and chondroitin, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
 
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Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements

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