[en] Purpose of review Several entities have been investigated carefully for the symptomatic and structural management of osteoarthritis. This review reports recent findings suggesting that such compounds may delay the structural progression of osteoarthritis. Recent findings The most compelling evidence of a potential for inhibiting the structural progression of osteoarthritis has been obtained with glucosamine sulfate, whereas preliminary results obtained in patients with osteoarthritis of the hands also suggest that chondroitin sulfate could be used in the same indication. At any rate, these two compounds have clearly demonstrated a symptomatic action, mainly in osteoarthritis of the lower limbs. Patients with the less severe radiographic osteoarthritis will experience, in the long run, the most dramatic disease progression in terms of joint space narrowing. Such patients may be particularly responsive to structure-modifying drugs. Summary Glucosamine sulfate has demonstrated its ability to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis in the lower limbs. The preliminary results obtained in the hands suggest that chondroitin sulfate could also be of interest in this indication. An important issue is that all the conclusive studies with such chemical entities resulted from the use of prescription medicines, not over-the-counter pills or food supplements.