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What is Hyalgan?

Hyalgan (pronounced 'Hi-al-gan') a sterile, highly purified mixture of hyaluronan. Hyaluronan (also called hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate) is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is one of the chief components of the extracellular matrix, contributes significantly to cell proliferation and migration. Hyaluronan is a major component of the synovial fluid (fluid that lubricates the joints) and was found to increase the viscosity of the fluid. Hyalgan is a flexible and elastic substance, which is made from hyaluronan. Hyalgan is a solution of sodium hyaluronate.

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What is Hyalgan used for?

Hyalgan is used to relieve knee pain due to osteoarthritis. It is used for patients who do not get adequate relief from simple painkillers or from exercise or physical therapy.

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How does Hyalgan work?

Hyalgan helps to restore normal joint function by lubricating and cushioning (absorb shock) the knee joint and thereby provides a pain relieving effect.

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What is the active ingredient in Hyalgan?

The active ingredient of Hyalgan is sodium hyaluronate.

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Who should not receive Hyalgan?

Hyalgan injections should not be given to anyone who has previously experienced an allergic reaction to Hyalgan or any other hyaluronate products. Persons with infections or the knee joint or infections of the skin around the knee joint should not be given Hyalgan. Also, be sure to let your doctor know if you are allergic to products from birds such as feathers, eggs, and poultry.

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How long has Hyalgan been available?

Hyalgan has been in clinical use since 1987. Hyalgan received FDA approval in 1997.

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What is the difference between Hyalgan and Synvisc?

Hyalgan is a solution of sodium hyaluronate while Synvisc is a solution of hylans (hyaluronan derivatives). The manufacturers recommend for Hyalgan a 5-week course (repeatable no more than 6-monthly) and for Synvisc a 3-week course (repeatable once within 6 months, with at least 4 weeks between courses). Hyalgan is licensed as a medicinal product, but Synvisc as a medical device. This difference reflects claims made by the manufacturers: that Hyalgan acts by pharmacological means and Synvisc mainly by physical means. There are some suggestions that there may be differences between Hyalgan and Synvisc in terms of immunogenicity which may form the basis of severe acute inflammatory reactions (SAIRs) sometimes seen with Synvisc.

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Is Hyalgan used only for knee joints?

Currently, Hyalgan is only approved for use in osteoarthritis of the knee joint.

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Is Hyalgan covered by Medicare, managed care organizations and other insurance plans?

Yes, Hyalgan is covered by Medicare and most managed care organizations and insurance plans.

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How is Hyalgan given?

Hyalgan is administered in your doctor's office as an injection directly into the knee joint space. A treatment cycle consists of five injections given at weekly intervals. Some patients may experience benefit with three injections given at weekly intervals.

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Are Hyalgan injections painful?

As with any injections, you may feel temporary minor pain at the Hyalgan injection site. To help make your HYALGAN injection as comfortable as possible, your doctor may inject a local anesthetic beforehand.

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How long does it take to receive Hyalgan injections?

The Hyalgan injection procedure only takes about 5 minutes.

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How many Hyalgan injections will I receive for each course of therapy?

Each course of therapy with Hyalgan injections consists of 5 separate injections each one week apart.

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When do the beneficial effects of Hyalgan treatment start?

Pain relief following Hyalgan injections varies from person to person. Also, how quickly the pain relief is experienced may depend on the severity of your pain. Most patients notice a difference within 1 week following the 3rd injection. However, some patients did not get pain relief until after the 5 injections.

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How long do the beneficial effects of Hyalgan last?

In the majority of cases the knee pain relief achieved with Hyalgan injections lasted 6 months.

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After I receive Hyalgan injections, will I need anything else to relieve the osteoarthritis knee pain?

Some people do experience complete relief of knee pain by getting Hyalgan injections. Other people do need to continue taking oral pain relievers to help fully alleviate the pain.

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Are there any Hyalgan side effects?

Some of the side effects of Hyalgan include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • heat
  • redness of the joint
  • rash, itching, or bruising around the Hyalgan injection area.

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What should I do if I experience Hyalgan side effects?

You should call your doctor if you experience any of the side effects of Hyalgan.

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Are Hyalgan injections safe?

Hyalgan is safe. Hyalgan has been in clinical use worldwide for 18 years, and more than 18 million injections have been given.

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Is Hyalgan FDA-approved?

Yes, Hyalgan was FDA-approved in May of 1997 for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint.

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Are there any activities that I should avoid after receiving Hyalgan injections?

Be sure to avoid activities that may strain your knee joint for at least two days after receiving Hyalgan injections. Avoid activities such as jogging, tennis, heavy lifting, or standing on your feet for a long time.

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Can I receive Hyalgan injections more than once?

Yes, you can receive Hyalgan injections more than once. In fact, Hyalgan has been shown to be safe for repeat treatment in a 30 month study. Repeat treatment was shown to be well tolerated in a 30-month study in which 75 patients received a 5-injection course of Hyalgan every 6 months. Your doctor will decide if and when a repeat treatment is right for you.

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Will Hyalgan cure osteoarthritis of the knee?

There is no cure for osteoarthritis of the knee. However, Hyalgan can help to relieve the pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee joint.

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How do I buy Hyalgan?

In most cases, you will buy Synvisc directly from your physician’s office. The Synvisc is supplied by your physician’s office and is charged to you or your insurance plan as part of your treatment. Suggest to your physician that you would like them to buy Hyalgan through Medical Device Source so that you can save on the cost of Hyalgan.

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How is Hyalgan supplied?

Hyalgan is supplied in 2 ml pre-filled syringes.

Each syringe contains:

Hyaluronic acid sodium salt 20.0 mg
Sodium chloride 17.0 mg
Monobasic sodium phosphate - 2H2O 0.1 mg
Dibasic sodium phosphate - 12H2O 1.2 mg
Water for injection q.s. to 2.0 ml

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Is Hyalgan a drug?

No. Hyalgan injections are classified as a medicinal product.

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Does Hyalgan interact with any medications I may be taking?

No, Hyalgan will not interact with medications that you are taking. Hyalgan is injected into the knee joint space and does not need to pass into your bloodstream to work. Hyalgan does not interfere with any other medicines you may be taking for osteoarthritis or other conditions.

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What company makes Hyalgan?

Hyalgan is manufactured by:

FIDIA Farmaceutici S.p.A.
Via Ponte della
Fabbrica 3/A 35031 Abano Terme, Padua (PD),
Italy

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