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Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic. 1992 Jul-Sep;59(7-8):466-72.

[Chondroitin sulfate in the treatment of gonarthrosis and coxarthrosis. 5-months result of a multicenter double-blind controlled prospective study using placebo].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Toulouse.


One hundred twenty patients with osteoarthritis of the knees and hips were entered into a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of chondroitin sulfate (Structum). The three-month treatment phase was followed by a two-month treatment-free phase to allow evaluation of carry-over effects. The main endpoint was use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (expressed as mg of diclofenac equivalent). At completion of the three-month treatment phase, patients taking chondroitin sulfate (4 capsules/day) were using significantly less NSAIDs; this decrease persisted throughout the two-month treatment-free follow-up phase. The other parameters studied including visual analog scale assessment of pain, the Lequesne pain-function index, and overall patient and physician assessments, all showed a similar significant tendency. Tolerance was outstanding and no patients required premature withdrawal. These findings indicate that chondroitin sulfate is useful for the treatment of osteoarthritis, both as an agent slowly effective against symptoms and to reduce the need for NSAIDs. The carry-over effect of the drug suggests that intermittent administration may be appropriate.

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