Hyaluronic acid (Injection)
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Hyalgan L/L
- Supartz FX
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cartilaginous Defect Repair Agent
Uses for hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid injection is used to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) in patients who have already been treated with pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen) and other treatments that did not work well.
Hyaluronic acid is similar to a substance that occurs naturally in the joints. It works by acting like a lubricant and shock absorber in the joints and helps the joints to work properly.
Hyaluronic acid is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before using hyaluronic acid
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hyaluronic acid, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hyaluronic acid or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of hyaluronic acid injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of hyaluronic acid injection in geriatric patients.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with 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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hyaluronic acid. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to bacterial proteins, gram positive or
- Allergy to hyaluronate preparations or
- Skin or knee joint infections or other problems at the place where the injection is to be given—Should not be given in patients with these conditions.
- Joint effusion (too much fluid in the knees)—Patients with this condition should be treated first before receiving hyaluronic acid.
Proper use of hyaluronic acid
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is given as a shot into your knee joint. It may take more than one injection for the pain to go away.
You will receive a series of shots of hyaluronic acid one week apart for a total of three or four injections.
Precautions while using hyaluronic acid
Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving hyaluronic acid. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.
Do not strain your knee joint for two days after receiving hyaluronic acid. Avoid activities such as jogging, soccer, tennis, heavy lifting, or standing on your feet for a long time.
Temporary pain or swelling in the knee joint may occur after receiving hyaluronic acid injection. Call your doctor if the pain or swelling in the knee persists or becomes worse after receiving hyaluronic acid.
Do not use hyaluronic acid with disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium salts (e.g., benzalkonium chloride). This may prevent hyaluronic acid injection from working properly.
Hyaluronic acid side effects
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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Difficulty with moving
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain in the joints
- Swelling or redness in the joints
Some 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. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.