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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Chondroitin Sulphate

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Date: 2008-07-17


Chondroitin sulfate (O'Neil et al. 2012)

Proper Name(s)

Chondroitin sulfate ( O'Neil et al. 2006 )

Common Name(s)

Chondroitin sulfate ( O'Neil et al. 2006 )

Source Material

  • Chondroitin sulfate sodium obtained from avian (Phasianidae) cartilage (NIH 2008, USP 2008)
  • Chondroitin sulfate sodium obtained from bovine (Bovidae) cartilage (NIH 2008, USP 2008)
  • Chondroitin sulfate sodium obtained from porcine (Suidae) cartilage (NIH 2008, USP 2008)

Cartilage must be derived from healthy and domestic animals used for food by humans (USP 31).

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Dose(s): 800 - 1200 Milligrams per day

Duration of use

Use for a minimum of 3 months to see beneficial effects  (Bjordal et al. 2007)

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen.
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
No statement is required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).
  • In order to minimize the risk of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) from products sourced from bovine tissues, product licence applicants must have a veterinary certificate on file and must ensure that the following criteria has been met (EP 2008): i. Source animal is fit for human consumption, ii. Source material can be traced back to the herd or animal, iii. Avoidance of cross-contamination with high-infectivity tissues is ensured during sourcing, iv. Manufacturing procedures that are known to reduce infectivity are implemented (e.g. procedures that are in accordance with those outlined in Chapter 5.2.8 of the European Pharmacopoeia). Note: This information is not to be submitted with the compendial Product Licence Application, although it may be requested at the NHPD's discretion.
  • The medicinal ingredient must either: i. Comply with the specifications outlined in the Chondroitin Sulfate Sodium Monographs published in the British or European Pharmacopoeiae, or the United States Pharmacopoeia or, ii. Be cited in an approved NHP Master File, authorized by a letter of access issued to the applicant by the NHP Master File's registered owner

References cited

  • Bjordal JM, Klovning A, Ljunggren AE, Slørdal L. 2007. Short-term efficacy of pharmacotherapeutic interventions in osteoarthritic knee pain: A meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. European Journal of Pain 11(2):125-138.
  • Bourgeois P, Chales G, Dehais J, Delcambre B, Kuntz JL, Rosenberg S. 1998. Efficacy and tolerability of chondroitin sulfate 1200 mg/day vs chondroitin sulfate 3 x 400 mg/day vs placebo. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 6(Suppl A):25-30.
  • Bucsi L, Poor G. 1998. Efficacy and tolerability of oral chondroitin sulfate as a symptomatic slow acting drug for osteoarthritis (SYSADOA) in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 6(Suppl A):31-36.
  • European Pharmacopoeia, 6th edition. Strasbourg (France): Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare of the Council of Europe (EDQM).; 2008
  • Hathcock JN, Shao A. Risk assessment for coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone). Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 2006;45(3):282-288.
  • Mazières B, Combe B, Phan Van A, Tondut J, Grynfeltt M. 2001. Chondroitin sulphate in osteoarthritis of the knee ; a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical study. Journal of Rheumatology 28:173-181.
  • Mazières B, Hucher M, Zaïm M, Garnero P. 2007. Effect of chondroitin sulphate in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Annals if the Rheumatic Diseases 66(5):639-645.
  • NLM 2009: United States National Library of Medicine. ChemIDplus advanced [online]. Chemical name. RN: 000-00-0. Bethesda (MD): Specialized Information Services, United States National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health & Human Services. [Accessed 2009 May 19]. Available from:
  • O'Neil MJ, Smith A, Heckelman PE, Budavari S, editors. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th edition. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; 2001.
  • The United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP 31/NF 26). 2008. Rockville (MD): United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc.
  • Uebelhart D, Malaise M, Marcolongo R, de Vathaire F, Piperno M, Mailleux E, Fioravanti A, Matoso L, Vignon E. 2004. Intermittent treatment of knee osteoarthritis with oral chondroitin sulphate: a one-year, randomized, double-blind, multicenter study versus placebo. Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society 12(4):269-276.
  • Uebelhart D, Thonar EJ, Delmas PD, Chant Raine A, Vignon E. 1998. Effects of oral chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis: a pilot study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 6(Suppl A):39-46.

References reviewed

  • Bana G, Jamard B, Mazières B. 2006. Chondroitin sulphate in the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis: an overview. Advances in Pharmacology 53:507-522
  • Boon H. Chondroitin sulfate. In: Chandler F, editor. 2000. Herbs: Everyday Reference for Health Professionals. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
  • Clegg DO, Reda DJ, Harris CL, Klein MA, O'Dell JR, Hooper MM, Bradley JD, Bingham CO 3rd, Weisman MH, Jackson CG, Lane NE, Cush JJ, Moreland LW, Schumacher HR Jr, Oddis CV, Wolfe F, Molitor JA, Yocum DE, Schnitzer TJ, Furst DE, Sawitzke AD, Shi H, Brandt KD, Moskowitz RW, Williams HJ. 2006. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, and the two in combination for painful knee osteoarthritis. The New England Journal of Medicine 354(8):795-808
  • Conrozier T. 1998. [Anti-arthrosis treatments: efficacy and tolerance of chondroitin sulfates (CS 4&6)]. Presse Médicale 27(36):1862-1865 (in French)
  • Jordan KM, Arden NK, Doherty M, Bannwarth B, Bijlsma JW, Dieppe P, Gunther K, Hauselmann H, Herrero-Beaumont G, Kaklamanis P, Lohmander S, Leeb B, Lequesne M, Mazieres B, Martin-Mola E, Pavelka K, Pendleton A, Punzi L, Serni U, Swoboda B, Verbruggen G, Zimmerman-Gorska I, Dougados M. 2003. EULAR Recommendations 2003: an evidence based approach to the management of knee osteoarthritis: Report of a Task Force of the Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutic Trials (ESCISIT). Annals of the Rheumatic Disease 62(12):1145-1155
  • Luo XM, Fosmire GJ, Leach RM Jr. 2002. Chicken keel cartilage as a source of chondroitin sulfate. Poultry Science 81(7):1086-9
  • Malavaki CJ, Asimakopoulou AP, Lamari FN, Theocharis AD, Tzanakakis GN, Karamanos NK. 2008. Capillary electrophoresis for the quality control of chondroitin sulfates in raw materials and formulations. Analytical Biochemistry 374(1):213-220
  • Mazières B, Loyau G, Menkès CJ, Valat JP, Dreiser RL, Charlot J, Masounabe-Puyanne A. 1992. [Chondroitin sulfate in the treatment of gonarthrosis and coxarthrosis. 5-months result of a multicenter double-blind controlled prospective study using placebo]. Revue du Rhumatisme et des Maladies Ostéo-articulaires 59(7-8):466-472 (in French).
  • Michel BA, Stucki G, Frey D, De Vathaire F, Vignon E, Bruehlmann P, Uebelhart D. 2005. Chondroitins 4 and 6 sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial. Arthritis and Rheumatism 52(3):779-786
  • Morreale P, Manopulo R, Galati M, Boccanera L, Saponati G, Bocchi L. 1996. Comparison of the anti-inflammatory efficacy of chondroitin sulfate and diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The Journal of Rheumatology 23(8):1385-1391.
  • Murray MT. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. Rocklin (CA): Prima Health; 1996.
  • NIH 2007a: National Institutes of Health. ChemIDplus advanced [online database]. Chondroitin, hydrogen sulfate, sodium salt; RN: 9082-07-9. Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health & Human Services, Bethesda (MD). Available from: [Accessed 17 July 2008].
  • NIH 2007b: National Institutes of Health. ChemIDplus advanced [online database]. Chondroitin sulfates; RN: 9007-28-7. Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health & Human Services, Bethesda (MD). Available from: [Accessed 17 July 2008].
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  • Reichenbach S, Sterchi R, Scherer M, Trelle S, Bürgi E, Bürgi U, Dieppe PA, Jüni P. 2007. Meta-analysis: chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. Annals of Internal Medicine 146(8):580-590
  • Richy F, Bruyere O, Ethgen O, Cucherat M, Henrotin Y, Reginster JY. 2003. Structural and symptomatic efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin in knee osteoarthritis: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine 163(13):1514-1522
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  • Verbruggen G, Goemaere S, Veys E. 1998. Chondroitin sulfate: S/MOAD (structure/disease modifying anti-osteoarthritis drug) in the treatment of finger joint OA. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 6(suppl A):37-38.
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