Glucosamine Side Effects

Glucosamine Side Effects

Glucosamine is dietary supplement. It is an amino sugar derived from the shells of shellfish. It can be prescribed for patients with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine slows down the progression of this process, improves the function of a damaged joint, rebuilds the cartilage, and relieves pain. Glucosamine can also be used for treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic venous insufficiency.

Side effects

According to recent studies, only about 1% of patients who take Glucosamine experience some side effects.

Usually, Glucosamine is well-tolerated by the body but sometimes it can cause such mild adverse effects as:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Gastralgia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Softening of the stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Rash
  • Hair loss
  • Insomnia

Since Glucosamine is derived from the shell of shellfish, some people who are allergic to shellfish may be predictably allergic to this medicine. But just like any other drug, it can cause allergic reactions in the form of:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, mouth, lips, throat and neck
  • Severe dizziness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Angioedema
  • Serum sickness

Serious side effects

Glucosamine can also cause severe and serious side effects such as:

  • Damage of the pancreatic cells
  • Damage of the pancreatic cells
  • Decrease of the metabolic actions of insulin
  • Increased risk of the diabetes and insulin resistance development
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in people with diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • High heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling of the skipped heart beat
  • Increased risk of bleeding

Side effects in pregnant women

There are no long-term studies that could provide clear information on the safety of Glucosamine for a pregnant woman and the fetus. Therefore, pregnant women are advised not to use this medicine.

Side effects in children

Glucosamine seems to be safe for children but while there are no proven data about its safety, the drug cannot be recommended for children.

Side effects of Glucosamine Solution

In addition to the side effects listed above, Glucosamine Solution can cause such adverse effects as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Diplopia
  • Tongue and mouth numbness
  • Tremor
  • Euphoria
  • Disorientation
  • Heart conductivity abnormality.


You may never experience any of the side effects listed above. Your doctor cannot predict your body’s reaction to Glucosamine until you have tried it. That is why you should immediately inform your doctor of any changes in your health condition after taking Glucosamine. Therefore, when you feel something is wrong, ask your doctor for advice and he or she will diagnose if your problem is connected with the medicine intake. You should also be careful because some of the side effects of Glucosamine require urgent medical attention.