Preliminary studies show glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate to be safe and well tolerated. Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal upset.

These side effects are reported in a small portion of patients. However, even substances that are found naturally in the body can have unpredictable results when taken in higher than normal quantities and in different formulations. This is particularly true with patients who are taking multiple medications or who have other diagnosed illnesses. For example:

Studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate may increase insulin resistance. For this reason, diabetic patients should use glucosamine sulfate with caution and only under medical supervision.

Patients on blood thinners (anticoagulants) should use chondroitin sulfate only after discussing and receiving approval from their physician.

In most human studies, glucosamine sulfate has shown to be well tolerated for 30 to 90 days of treatment, while chondroitin sulfate can be well tolerated for up to three years.

Dr. Christopher Chaput is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery. He practices in San Antonio, TX, and has more than 20 years of clinical experience. Dr. Chaput previously served as Director of the Division of Orthopedic Spine Surgery at Baylor Scott & White Health.