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QUESTION: Is glucosamine effective for reducing pain and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis?
Published and unpublished studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to November 1999), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (to November 1999), and Current Contents (1998–9); searching bibliographies of retrieved papers; and by contacting authors and content experts.
English language studies were included if they were single or double blind, randomised controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness or toxicity of glucosamine for osteoarthritis, evaluated ≥1 outcome measure in response to treatment, and included patients ≥18 years of age with a diagnosis of primary or secondary osteoarthritis at any site. Only studies with suitable quantitative data for pooling were included in the …
Source of funding: no external funding.
For correspondence: Dr T E Towheed, Medicine, Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Room 2066, Etherington Hall, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada. Fax +1 613 533 2189.