Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018

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Chondroitin Effective in Knee OA. Or is it?

Reginster and colleagues have reported on the results of the CONCEPT trial showing that osteoarthritis (OA) patients treated 800 mg/day of  pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin sulfate (CS) have less VAS pain scores and improved function over 6 months therapy. These results were superior to placebo and equivalent to celecoxib in reducing in symptomatic OA knee pain.

They enrolled 603 OA knee patients a 6-month, 3-arm, double-blind, double-dummy trial were patients were randomized to either placebo, CS and celecoxib (200 mg/day). After 6 mos, greater improvement in Pain VAS scores were seen with CS (-42.6 mm) and celecoxib (−39.5 mm) versus those treated with placebo (−33.3 mm) (p=0.001 for CS and p=0.009 for celecoxib vs PBO).

Figure 2 

So is chondroitin as effective as NSAID therapy?  The problem is that many prior studies of CS use in knee OA have yielded mixed results. ( Citation source: http://buff.ly/2rqc0hE)

These data are limited by fair low effect size, the trial being sponsored by the CS manufacturer and prior claims showing selective benefit of a specific manufacturer compared to other manufacturers.

While the results are encouraging, further study by other parties is advisable.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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