What is chondroitin-glucosamine?

Chondroitin is a naturally occurring substance formed of sugar chains. Chondroitin is believed to help the body maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints.

Glucosamine is sugar protein that is believed to help develop and renew cartilage (the hard connective tissue mainly located on bones near joints in the body), and keep it lubricated for better joint movement and flexibility.

The combination of chondroitin and glucosamine is widely used to aid in maintaining healthy joints. It is also used as a nutritional supplement in people with osteoarthritis or other inflammatory joint disorders.

Not all uses for chondroitin and glucosamine have been approved by the FDA. Chondroitin and glucosamine should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

Chondroitin and glucosamine is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Chondroitin and glucosamine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Before using chondroitin and glucosamine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider. You may not be able to use chondroitin and glucosamine if you have:

  • diabetes;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;
  • if you have allergies to certain drugs;
  • if you are overweight; or
  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Chondroitin and glucosamine may or may not be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use this product without talking to a healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether chondroitin and glucosamine can pass into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Ask your healthcare provider before using chondroitin and glucosamine if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid taking chitosan (usually marketed as a weight-loss product) while you are taking chondroitin and glucosamine. Chitosan can make it harder for your body to absorb chondroitin.

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An overdose of chondroitin and glucosamine is not expected to produce life-threatening side effects.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, upset stomach;
  • heartburn; or
  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Do not take chondroitin and glucosamine without the advice of a healthcare provider if you are using any of the following medications:

  • insulin; or
  • a blood thinner such as anisindione (Miradon) or warfarin (Coumadin).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with chondroitin and glucosamine. Tell your healthcare provider about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your healthcare provider.

Other Names

Cosamin DS, Osteo Bi-Flex, Osteo Bi-Flex Double Strength, Osteo Bi-Flex Triple Strength, Relamine, Schiff Move Free, Schiff Move Free Caplets, chondroitin-glucosamine, glucosamine-chondroitin, and Pryflex

Available Strengths & Dosages

Route Form Strength
oral tablet 200 mg-250 mg

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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