The side effects of glucosamine sulfate are typically mild, although any bothersome symptoms which develop after taking this medication should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Some of the most frequently reported side effects include nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Additional side effects of glucosamine sulfate may include headache, dizziness, or skin reactions. Those who are allergic to shellfish or with diabetes should only use this medication under direct supervision of a doctor. Any questions or concerns about potential side effects of glucosamine sulfate on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Gastrointestinal disturbances are among the most common side effects of glucosamine sulfate. These types of symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some patients may experience constipation or alternate between bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Heartburn, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain may also occur. Some of these side effects may be minimized by taking the medication with food or milk.
Insomnia, headache, or dizziness may occur when taking glucosamine sulfate. This medication may increase the risk of bleeding, especially in those with bleeding disorders. Some medications or herbal supplements may increase these risks, so a doctor should be consulted prior to use. Skin reactions such as rash, itching, or a burning sensation may occur in some people who use glucosamine sulfate. While these skin reactions are normally mild, any significant changes to the skin should be reported to a doctor to rule out a possible allergic reaction.
Those who are allergic to shellfish should only use this medication under the direct supervision of a doctor. Glucosamine sulfate is made from the shells of crabs, lobsters, or shrimp. Most people who have shellfish allergies only react to the meat of these creatures, although there have been some reports of similar reactions when taking this medication.
Some side effects of glucosamine sulfate may include blood sugar changes or symptoms of asthma such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. Diabetic patients should consult a physician before using this medication, as more frequent blood testing may be recommended. Those with asthma or other respiratory illnesses may not be advised to take glucosamine sulfate.
In rare instances, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur when taking glucosamine sulfate. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. These symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, as death may occur within a matter of minutes without immediate medical attention.