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Knowing the right osteoarthritis remedy is worth your salt |

Health And Family

Knowing the right osteoarthritis remedy is worth your salt


MANILA, Philippines – Chances are you, or an elderly person close to you, experience frequently swollen joints, brief but grueling moments of joint stiffness in the morning, and increasing intensity of joint pains especially at night and when bearing heavy loads. These may be symptoms of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis whose prevalence is increasing more than ever as the global population ages.

Thankfully, medication such as glucosamine sulfate, formulated in decades past, has been recently proven to effectively relieve symptoms and even prevent the progression of the disease. In most cases, osteoarthritic patients can avoid major procedures such as surgical replacement of severely diseased joints.

Glucosamine sulfate is today’s treatment of choice in the battle against osteoarthritis, vis-a-vis the traditional practice of prescribing analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to merely address the pain. In this dawning era of osteoarthritis management, where the ultimate goal is to prevent progression of the disease itself rather than just treating its symptoms, even the use of other formulations of glucosamine hydrochloride or in combination with chondroitrin raises serious doubts as to their long-term efficacy.

With the breakthrough of the newer understanding of the role of glucosamine sulfate comes the deluge of various brands and preparations of the promising molecule. Since most of these preparations are readily available off the shelf, ordinary consumers should be enlightened that not all glucosamine preparations are the same. Furthermore, there are certain preparations of the drug that may have harmful side effects on a certain group of patients, with long-term implications on the overall health condition of even the healthiest individuals.

Most pronounced of these possible adverse effects arises from the use of sodium chloride (NaCl) versus potassium chloride (KCl) in the preparation of glucosamine sulfate medicine. Glucosamine as a substance in itself is volatile and highly “hygroscopic,” degrading rapidly when exposed to air or moisture. Thus, stabilizers are required in order to produce a formulation viable as a consumer product. Either sodium or potassium salts effectively stabilize glucosamine. But for the regional market, the sodium salt is preferable since Asians seem to tolerate it better (as compared to potassium salt) due to the nature of their cultural diet.

The pioneering brand of glucosamine sulfate preparation by Rottapharm, formulated in the early ’70s and subjected to more than 160 published studies and metaanalyses, has been clinically proven to genuinely contain the claimed glucosamine sulfate content. It is also prepared with only a little over six percent of sodium salt, thus assuring both efficacy and safety. As a global leader in drug research and manufacture, Rottapharm’s strict adherence to production quality also ensures the consistent and reliable quality of its products. Moreover, only Rottapharm offers crystalline glucosamine sulfate, the most effective formulation of the substance as proven in research studies.

Crystalline glucosamine sulfate (Viartril-S) is available in two forms: capsule and powder in sachet. It is exclusively distributed by PL Asia Pacific (Phils.) Inc. (telephone number 887-2423), licensed distributor of Rottapharm products in the Philippines.

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