Asthma exacerbation associated with glucosamine-chondroitin supplement

Alfred F. Tallia, Dennis A. Cardone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Although dietary supplements are in widespread use, and some have been endorsed by the medical community and complementary and alternative practitioners, not much is known about their potential side effects or drug interactions. Methods: A case of asthma exacerbated by the use of a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement for osteoarthritis pain is described. The literature was searched from 1980 to 2002 using the terms "glucosamine, " "chondroitin sulfate," "alternative medicine," and "dietary supplements," combined with "asthma." Results and Conclusions: The biological link between both chondroitin and glucosamine and secretions from the respiratory tree of persons with asthma lends biologic plausibility to the hypothesis that the patient's asthmatic episode was related to the dietary substance. Physicians would be wise to question their patients about use of dietary supplements as self-medication and consider the possibility of such supplements causing exacerbations of underlying conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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