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Cochrane confirms the clinical efficacy of chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of osteoarthritis

2 Feb 2015
  • The Cochrane Library has published the most in-depth review on chondroitin sulfate carried out by an international, independent organization so far
  • The results revealed that chondroitin sulfate is better than placebo in improving pain and functional capacity in osteoarthritic patients, with the added advantage of improved safety
  • The review analyzed 43 clinical trials including 4,962 patients treated with chondroitin sulfate 

The Cochrane Library recently published a review of chondroitin sulfate that confirms the efficacy and safety of this drug in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). The conclusions remark that the patients treated with chondroitin sulfate achieved statistically significantly and clinically meaningful better pain and functional capacity scores. This drug also has improved safety standards.

“These are highly relevant results that, from my point of view, should put an end to the controversy on the efficacy and safety of chondroitin sulfate. At Bioiberica we have been working for more than 10 years on this product, whose efficacy has been scientifically and clinically proved”, declared Dr. Josep Vergés, clinical pharmacologist and medical and scientific director of Bioiberica.

It is the most thorough review on chondroitin sulfate published so far, carried out by an independent international organization, The Cochrane Collaboration. The authors searched seven databases and included 43 clinical trials published before November 2013, with 4,962 patients treated with chondroitin sulfate.

Furthermore, the review concludes that chondroitin sulfate slightly slows down the narrowing of joint space on X-rays of the affected joint compared to placebo, thus confirming that this drug is capable of delaying the progression of the disease.

Furthermore, when comparing the use of chondroitin sulfate in combination with glucosamine versus placebo or active control, a statistically significant reduction in pain is also observed. “This data further confirms the conclusions of the recent MOVES clinical trial published by the Annals of the Rheumatic Disease journal”, explained Dr.Vergés.

This review included controlled clinical trials using pharmaceutical- grade chondroitin sulfate such as Bioiberica’s, as well as studies carried out with compounds sold by nutraceutical companies of untested quality. This is why the authors included a comment on the elevated heterogeneity of the studies. This is the reality of the current market, and even in this context their global assessment of the product is positive”, added Dr. Vergés.

This Cochrane review confirms the efficacy and safety of chondroitin sulfate, lending further support to this treatment option for a chronic disease such as osteoarthritis, for which there is a limited therapeutic arsenal available.

About Cochrane

Cochrane Collaboration is a global non-profit organization formed by an extensive network of researchers, professionals, patients and people interested in health, with collaborators in more than 120 countries. Its primary aim is to disseminate medical information free from commercial sponsorship and other potential conflicts of interest. In order to generate truthful, credible information produced by freely working people, Cochrane does not accept commercial or pharmaceutical industry funding. Their research groups are supported by national governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, universities, hospitals, private foundations and personal donations.