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What is Synvisc?

Synvisc is a derivitive of hyaluronic acid, which belongs to a group of chemicals called glycosaminoglycans. Glycosaminoglycans are the building blocks of cartilage and exist in normal joint fluid. Synvisc is a gel-like mixture consisting of hylan A fluid, hylan B gel, and salt water. The hylan polymers found in Synvisc are produced from chicken combs. Synvisc’s active ingredient is Hylan G-F 20 which is an elastic and viscous substance made from hyaluronan, which is found naturally in normal joint fluid. Basically, Synvisc is a synthetic hyaluronic acid joint lubricant used to replace the synovial fluid of the knee. Synvisc became FDA-approved in 1997. Synvisc injections are approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in those who have failed to respond to more conservative therapy

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What is Synvisc used for?

Synvisc is used to relieve knee pain due to osteoarthritis. It is used for patients who do not get enough relief from simple painkillers such as acetaminophen, or from exercise and physical therapy.

Synvisc belongs to the group of medications known as synovial fluid replacements. Synovial fluid replacements are also known as viscosupplements. Synvisc injections are FDA-approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in those who have failed to respond to more conservative therapy.

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How does Synvisc work?

Synvisc works by mimicking the body's own synovial fluid (a fluid that lubricates and cushions the joints). In knee joints affected by osteoarthritis, the synovial fluid becomes thinner and loses its ability to cushion and lubricate the knee joint. Synvisc is a synovial fluid replacement and provides this needed cushioning and lubricating effect.

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What is the active ingredient in Synvisc?

The active ingredient in Synvisc is Hylan G-F 20. Hylan G-F 20 is a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in normal joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is also known as hyaluronan (pronounced hye-a-loo-ROE-nan) or sodium hyaluronate.

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Is Synvisc Used Only For Knee Joints?

At the present time, Synvisc has only received FDA approval for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint.

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How is Synvisc given?

Synvisc is injected, by a qualified physician, directly into the knee joint using a needle. Synvisc is injected once a week for 3 weeks. Synvisc comes packaged in a preloaded syringe.

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Are Synvisc injections painful?

The Synvisc injections themselves can be uncomfortable to painful. Some people can also experience significant pain in the days following the Synvisc injections. Usually however, the relief experienced is more prominent than any pain. If a severe pain reaction happens to you after your Synivisc injections, call your doctor.

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

Each course of therapy consists of three Synvisc injections (per affected knee) each one week apart.

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When do the beneficial effects of Synvisc treatment start?

You may begin to feel some relief even after the very first Synvisc injection. However, most patients experience the greatest relief after about 8 to 12 weeks (from the time of the first Synvisc injection).

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How long do the beneficial effects of Synvisc last?

How long the beneficial effects of Synvisc lasts varies from person to person. For the majority of people the relief from the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee lasts up to 6 months.

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Are there any Synvisc side effects?

Some side effects experienced with Synvisc include:

  • knee pain
  • swelling
  • tender, warm and red knees
  • fluid accumulation
  • knee infection
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • muscle pain and/or cramps
  • flushing and/or swelling of the face
  • fast heartbeat
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling in arms or legs
  • prickly feeling of the skin

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What should I do if I experience Synvisc side effects?

If you experience any of these side effects of Synvisc you should call your doctor.

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

It is recommended that patient’s receiving Synvisc injections avoid any strenuous activities or prolonged weight-bearing activities such as jogging or tennis following the intra-articular injection. After you receive Synvisc injections, you should, if possible, avoid activities such as jogging, tennis, heavy lifting, or standing for a long time.

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Can I receive Synvisc injections more than once?

Yes you can receive Synvisc injections more than once. If you have experienced knee pain relief for up to 6 months but the knee pain has returned then ask your doctor if another course of therapy with Synvisc is right for you.

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Who should not receive Synvisc injections?

Anyone who has previously had an allergic reaction to Synvisc or other hyaluronan products should not receive Synvisc injections.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds such as feathers, eggs, and poultry.

Anyone with an infection of the knee joint, or skin infections or diseases, around the area should not receive Synvisc injections.

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How do I buy Synvisc?

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.

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How is Synvisc supplied?

Synvisc is supplied in a 2.25 mL glass syringe containing 2 mL Synvisc.

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