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All about: Hyalgan

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Hyalgan
  • Orthovisc

Another commonly used name is hyaluronic acid .

Category

  • Analgesic

Description

Hyaluronate (hye-a-loo-ROE-nate) is similar to a substance that occurs naturally in joints and that helps joints work properly by acting like a lubricant and shock absorber. This medicine is injected directly into the knee to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis.

This medicine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S.)

Before Receiving This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hyaluronate, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hyaluronate or to bird protein, feathers, or egg products. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies have not been done in pregnant woman. However, studies in animals did not find that hyaluronate causes birth defects or other problems.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether hyaluronate passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of hyaluronate in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of hyaluronate in the elderly with the use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking hyaluronate, it is especially important that your health care professional knows if you are taking any of the following:

  • Disinfectants containing ammonium salt

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hyaluronate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Skin infection or other problems at the place where the injection is to be given—This medicine should not be injected there.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of hyaluronate may be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of hyaluronate.

  • For parenteral dosage form (injection):
    • For knee pain caused by osteoarthritis:
      • Adults—By injection into the knee, 20 to 30 milligrams (mg) once a week (one week apart) for a total of five injections.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

For the first 48 hours after you receive this medicine, avoid strenuous activities or prolonged (more than 1 hour) activities that put a lot of weight on your legs, such as jogging, heavy lifting, playing tennis, or standing on your feet for a long period of time.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Blue color or flushing or redness of skin; cough; difficulty in swallowing; dizziness or feeling faint (severe); fever; redness or pain at place of injection; skin rash, hives, and/or itching; stuffy nose; swelling of eyelids, face, or lips; tightness in chest, troubled breathing, and/or wheezing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Diarrhea; headache; itching of the skin; large, nonelevated blue or purplish patches in the skin; loss of appetite; nausea and/or vomiting; stomach pain; swelling of the knee

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 05/01/1998
Revised: 02/01/2006

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