Chondroprotectors for arthrosis of the knee – drugs that have a regenerative effect on cartilage. They are widely used in the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint. They favorably affect the affected articular cartilage and reduce pain.
Indications for taking chondroprotectors
- arthrosis (small joints, gonarthrosis)
- arthritis (joint and periarticular inflammatory diseases)
- dystrophic conditions of the cartilage tissue of the joints
- joint injuries
- periodontal disease
- to restore joint function in the postoperative period.
The principle of action of chondroprotectors
With arthrosis of the knee joint, dystrophic and degenerative processes in the tissues are observed, which lead to a decrease in motor activity, severe pain and deformation of the joint.
Chondroprotectors contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are active substances capable of:
- Activate the synthesis mechanisms of the main components of cartilage tissue (proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, collagens)
- Prevent dystrophic changes in cartilage
- Have anti-inflammatory effect
- Activate intraarticular fluid synthesis
Some chondroprotectors contain only honroitin or glucosamine from the active substances. However, most of the preparations incorporate both active components contained in different proportions.
The active substance is glucosamine.
Glucosamine is a part of chondroprotectors. It is an indispensable component in the synthesis of cartilage, has a protective effect against free radicals and other damaging substances. In addition, glucosamine removes edema and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Theoretically, preparations containing such an active substance should have an excellent effect in the restoration of cartilage.
However, in practice it is not always possible with monotherapy to achieve the desired effects. In the presence of severe damage to the cartilage, taking chondroprotectors without the intervention of other therapeutic agents does not give positive results.
The active substance is chondroitin.
Chondroitin mainly affects calcium-phosphorus metabolism in cartilage. Chondroitin is a high molecular weight compound of mucopolysaccharide. Due to its properties, cartilage is endowed with elasticity. It affects the regenerative processes and prevents the loss of calcium.
It makes sense to take chondroprotectors at the first and second stages of the development of arthrosis of the knee joints. A feature of chondroprotective administration is the need for their long-term use. The minimum course is from 3-6 months of taking the drugs, treatment should be carried out strictly under the supervision of a doctor.
Chondroprotective Release Forms
Chondroprotectors for arthrosis of the knee joints are prescribed in tablet form or in powder form. If you rely on the reviews of some patients, the effect of taking the drugs can be noticeable already at 3-4 months of treatment. But only after a long and regular intake of drugs – after 5-6 months, we can talk about a significant positive result. The daily dosage should be 2000 mg of the drug. Such a high dosage is explained by the poor absorption of chondroprotectors when taking tablets or powder due to the high molecular weight of the chondroitin molecule.
Due to the local penetration of the active substance to the site of the inflammatory process, it is possible to significantly reduce the pain symptom after the first procedures.
The course of treatment with chondroprotectors in the form of injections is usually no more than 10-20 injections, then the patient is prescribed tablets or powder of this group of drugs. The dosage of chondroprotectors for the purpose of injections is only 100 mg.
Chondroprotectors in the form of ointments are prescribed at the stage of remission or in addition to tablets.
Taking even the most effective chondroprotective agents at an early stage cannot give a lasting positive effect if measures are not taken with respect to the main cause of the development of the disease. First of all, it is necessary to determine exactly which factor provoked degenerative and dystrophic processes in the cartilaginous tissue of the knee joint.
With arthrosis of the knee, measures should be taken to combat excess weight. Excess weight is an additional load on the joints, which most negatively affects the further course of the disease. With drug treatment with chondroprotective arthrosis, high loads on the affected joints cannot be tolerated, at the same time, regular movement of the joints, but with a moderate load, must be created. With complete rest, metabolic processes in the joint area may decrease, which will invariably lead to deforming consequences.
Hypothermia – this condition should be completely excluded with arthrosis of the knee joint. In the presence of chronic foci of infection, it is necessary to immediately eliminate the cause of its development, otherwise treatment with chondroprotectors may not be productive.
Classification of drugs:
- 1st generation chondroprotectors (Mukartrin, Alflutop, Arteparon)
These include medicines of natural origin, made from plant extracts or animal origin.
- 2nd generation
chondroprotectors This group includes monopreparations – purified hyaluronic acid or glucosamine.
- 3rd generation chondroprotectors
Preparations of combined origin. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which can be combined with other medicinal substances, in particular with vitamins, manganese ascorbate or fatty acids. Chondroprotectors can be produced in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs.
Expert opinion on drugs
Reviews of doctors about first-generation drugs suggest that this group has a placebo effect rather than an effective therapeutic effect. As for the second and third generation chondroprotectors, it is their clinical effect that has been proven in practice. These drugs are used in international practice.
The effectiveness of drugs depends heavily on the route of entry into the body. Chondroprotectors in the form of ointments have a local effect in arthrosis. They are rubbed into the skin directly in the area of the affected joint. They are able to partially relieve the inflammatory process – eliminate pain and reduce swelling. However, absorption of active substances into the blood practically does not occur, therefore, it is impossible to achieve cartilage tissue regeneration in this way.
Chondroprotectors in tablets or capsules are taken orally. Reviews of physicians themselves regarding this method of consumption of this group of drugs vary greatly. Many question the ability of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine to reach the site of the affected joint unchanged after passing through the digestive tract.
The use of chondroprotectors in the form of injections
The difficulty that can be encountered when using this type of drug administration is the need to relieve vasospasm of the affected joint. This is necessary to ensure a high drug concentration of active substances in the joint tissue.
This is the most effective form of drugs, since chondroprotectors in the form of injections go directly to the joint or to the muscles.
The intraarticular pathway of the drug into the pathological focus gives the best effect. The joint surface is instantly moistened, cartilaginous tissue is nourished and the articular surfaces are prevented from erasing each other. Chondroprotectors injected into the joint are divided into standard drugs and synovial fluid substitutes. The main disadvantage of injectable drugs is their high cost.
Contraindications for taking chondroprotectors
- Individual intolerance to the components of the drug
- There may be side effects in the presence of diseases of the digestive system, so taking medications should occur strictly under the supervision of a doctor.
Acceptance of chondroprotectors for arthrosis cannot give the most positive effect if it is not taken in combination with other drugs and recommendations. It is necessary to take all measures to combat overweight, try not to allow movements that can lead to additional damage to the tissues of the joints.
Of great importance in the treatment of knee arthrosis is the regular implementation of exercises from the physiotherapy complex. Normal walking has a good effect, it is recommended to walk at least 20-30 minutes on a flat road per day.
Any motor activity that sets in motion a pathological joint should be replaced by a period of rest. Joint hypothermia should not be allowed. All these measures play an important role in the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint in combination with regular administration of chondroprotective drugs.
Timeliness of treatment
Often you can see reviews of patients taking chondroprotectors, saying that these drugs do not bring any visible effect in arthrosis. However, it is worth recalling that, firstly, this group of drugs is effective only in the early stages of the disease, later in the later stages, these drugs, unfortunately, are not able to work miracles.
In addition, in the treatment with chondroprotectors, the regularity of taking the drugs is of great importance. A stable effect in most cases can be obtained only after 2-4 courses of treatment with chondroprotectors. Including breaks between taking medications, the course of treatment can take about one and a half to two years.
Which drug is the best
It is worth remembering that there is no universal remedy in treatment. For each patient and in each individual case, the approach to treatment can vary significantly with others. The choice of the drug can only be done by the attending physician!
To independently start taking chondroprotectors, without consulting a specialist, can not only not give any effective effect, but also lead to negative consequences. An arthrologist is able to select the optimal drug, prescribe a schedule for its administration and, if necessary, replace the method of administration or type of chondroprotector in time. When choosing drugs, you should pay attention to the dosage of the components that make up the composition. In the pharmaceutical market, in addition to drugs, there are dietary supplements, which differ mainly in dosage.
Cost of drugs
Chondroprotectors are quite expensive drugs. Their average price fluctuates around 1500-4000 rubles. After consulting with your doctor, you can often choose inexpensive analogues, but you should not replace one drug with another on your own! In some cases, specialists may prescribe the components of the chondroprotectors separately, i.e. prescribing glucosamine and chondroitin in its purest form. The cost of these components individually is significantly lower than modern chondroprotectors.
However, all actions for the selection or replacement of drugs should occur in consultation with a specialist. Otherwise, you can often hear negative reviews about the treatment with chondroprotectors, which indicates an incorrect and inconsistent approach to treatment. People who started treatment in the early stages of the disease do not violate the regimen of drugs and adhere to the recommendations of a doctor – they achieve a positive effect from treatment.