Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Osteoarthritis Health Center

Font Size

Glucosamine Ups Ibuprofen's Pain Relief

Combo Arthritis Treatment: Less Ibuprofen May Be Needed
WebMD Health News

Jan. 9, 2004 -- The supplement glucosamine seems to boost the pain relief from ibuprofen, suggesting a new combination approach to arthritis treatment.

And while the study is preliminary, researchers say it's hopeful news that arthritis sufferers could reduce the amount of ibuprofen they take by also taking glucosamine. With a lower dose of ibuprofen, there likely will be less stomach irritation.

In recent years, glucosamine has been extensively studied as an arthritis treatment, and it has been shown to greatly relieve the mobility problems of those with osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative disease of the joints. The compound helps slow the deterioration process, repairing bone and cartilage damage and reducing inflammation.

However, whether glucosamine itself can block pain has not been studied, writes lead researcher Ronald J. Tallarida, PhD, of Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

His report appears in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

In this study, Tallarida and colleagues tested various doses of glucosamine and various NSAIDS, including ibuprofen, on laboratory mice. While the NSAID administered alone had pain-relieving effects, glucosamine administered alone produced no pain-relieving effect.

But when glucosamine was combined with an NSAID, pain relief was more pronounced, he reports.

Pain relief from the combination of drugs depended on the proportion of the drugs used in the combination and their concentration.

While his findings are preliminary, they help reveal more about glucosamine and how it works, Tallarida writes. Future studies will focus on effects of lower doses of ibuprofen -- which could reduce side effects for patients needing a high-powered arthritis treatment.

SOURCE: Tallarida, Ronald. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, November 2003; vol 307: pp 699-704.

Today on WebMD

elderly hands
Even with arthritis pain.
woman exercising
Here are 7 easy tips.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
Keep Joints Healthy
Chronic Pain Healthcheck
close up of man with gut
man knee support
woman with cold compress
Man doing tai chi
hand gripping green rubber ball
person walking with assistance