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(glew-kos-ah-meen) ,

2-amino-2-deoxyglucose sulfate

(trade name),


(trade name)


Therapeutic: antirheumatics
Osteoarthritis.Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis.Glaucoma.


May stop or slow osteoarthritis progression by stimulating cartilage and synovial tissue metabolism.

Therapeutic effects

Decreased pain and improved joint function.


Absorption: 0.9% absorbed
Distribution: Unknown
Metabolism and Excretion: 74% eliminated via first-pass metabolism
Half-life: Unknown

Time/action profile



Contraindicated in: Shellfish allergy (glucosamine is often derived from marine exoskeletons)Pregnancy and lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Diabetes (may worsen glycemic control)Asthma (may exacerbate symptoms)Surgery (may affect blood glucose levels, discontinue glucosamine 2 weeks before elective procedures)

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • nausea
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Central nervous system

  • headache
  • drowsiness


  • skin reactions


  • hyperglycemia


May antagonize the effects of antidiabetics May induce resistance to some chemotherapy drugs such as etoposide, teniposide, and doxorubicin May increase anticoagulant effects of warfarin None known.
Oral (Adults) 500 mg three times daily
Topical (Adults) use cream as needed for up to 8 weeks


Tablets: 500 mgOTC
Capsules: 500 mgOTC
Topical cream: 30 mg/g in combination with other ingredientsOTC

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess for shellfish allergy prior to initiating therapy.
  • Monitor pain (type, location, and intensity) and range of motion periodically during therapy.
  • Assess bowel function periodically during therapy. Constipation may be reduced by increased fluid intake and bulk in diet; bulk laxatives may be added if necessary.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum glucose levels periodically during therapy for patients with diabetes.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Chronic pain (Indications)
Impaired physical mobility (Indications)


  • Administer prior to meals.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patients that the effects of this drug come from stimulating cartilage and synovial tissue metabolism and that the supplement must be taken on a regular basis to achieve benefit. It should not be used as an intermittent pain medication.
  • Caution patients with a shellfish allergy that this herbal supplement should not be used.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if gastric discomfort develops and persists.
  • Advise diabetic patients to monitor glucose values closely during initial therapy.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Improvement in pain and range of motion.


d-Glucosamine. See: glucosamine.
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