Joint Supplements Beat Drugs

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European researchers have found that for osteoarthritis, popular joint-health supplements work as well as a prescription pain reliever, but without the risks. The study, published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, compared these treatments among 606 people with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee: 400 mg of chondroitin sulfate plus 500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, three times daily, or 200 mg daily of celecoxib (Celebrex). Researchers concluded that the supplement combination "has comparable efficacy to celecoxib in reducing pain, stiffness, functional limitation, and joint swelling/effusion after 6 months." Celecoxib must contain a label warnings of increased risk for deadly strokes, heart attacks, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

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