Glucosamine sulfate is known by a variety other names, including 2-amino-2-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranose, 2-amino-2-deoxy-D-glucose sulfate and 2-amino-2-deoxyglucose sulfate, states MedicineNet. More easily remembered names are glucosamine, glucosamine potassium sulfate and G6S.
Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical compound present in the fluid surrounding joints, according to MedicineNet. Frequently taken to alleviate pain and improve movement in joints affected by osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate can be manufactured in the laboratory or taken from natural sources, such as seashells. Glucosamine sulfate is different than glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl glucosamine, and it may not produce the same effect.
Some studies, however, have shown that glucosamine hydrochloride is similar in effectiveness to glucosamine sulfate when used to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, because the sulfate is merely a carrier molecule for the glucosamine, according to The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center.
Clinical studies since 1980 have shown that both forms of glucosamine have been at least as effective at relieving discomfort associated with arthritis as common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen or aspirin with fewer reported side effects, states The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center. Some evidence indicates that glucosamine sulfate may help keep joint problems from getting worse, while pain relievers can reduce pain but do nothing to prevent the further destruction of the joint, reports MedicineNet.com.