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Synvisc Side Effects

Generic Name: hylan g-f 20

Note: This document contains side effect information about hylan g-f 20. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Synvisc.

For the Consumer

Applies to hylan g-f 20: intra-articular solution

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have severe pain or swelling around the knee after the injection.

Common side effects may include:

  • warmth, redness, pain, stiffness, swelling, or puffiness where the medicine was injected;

  • muscle pain, trouble walking;

  • fever, chills, nausea;

  • prickly feeling in your skin;

  • headache, dizziness; or

  • itching or skin irritation around the knee.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to hylan g-f 20: intra-articular solution


A retrospective study reported pain, warmth, and swelling after 11% of injections, in some cases lasting up to 3 weeks.[Ref]

In clinical trials with 511 patients who received a total of 1771 injections, knee pain and/or swelling were reported in 7.2% patients or 2.2% of injections and were the most common adverse reactions.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included individual cases of rash, itching, generalized urticaria, recurring small hives, facial flush with lip swelling, and body prickling. These symptoms did not reoccur upon rechallenge.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea and hemorrhoids.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included calf cramps, ankle edema, muscle pain, low back sprain, and pseudosepsis.[Ref]

Pseudosepsis has been characterized as severe joint inflammation with pain and effusion occurring 24 to 72 hours after injection and it may be more likely to occur after the second or third injection or with repeated courses. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular steroids, and/or arthrocentesis are often required to treat pseudosepsis.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included tachyarrhythmia and phlebitis with varicosities.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included anxiety and listlessness, dizziness, headache, shivering, and body pain.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included respiratory difficulties.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included one case report of pseudogout and one of acute gout in a patient with no prior episodes.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions have included one reported case of a suspected allergic reaction with fever, large effusion in the knee, and synovial eosinophilia.[Ref]


Local reactions have included acute painful joint effusions after injection into the knee in 1% to 11% of patients.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Synvisc (viscoelastic solution)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Isomoto H, Saenko VA, Kanazawa Y, et al. "Enhanced Expression of Interleukin-8 and Activation of Nuclear Factor Kappa-B in Endoscopy-negative Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease." Am J Gastroenterol 99 (2004): 589-97

3. Yacyshyn EA, Matteson EL "Gout after intraarticular injection of hylan GF-20 (Synvisc) [letter]." J Rheumatol 26 (1999): 2717

4. Allen E, Krohn K "Adverse reaction to Hylan GF-20." J Rheumatol 27 (2000): 1572

5. Pullman-Mooar S, Mooar P, Sieck M, Clayburne G, Schumacher HR "Are there distinctive inflammatory flares after hylan g-f 20 intraarticular injections?" J Rheumatol 29 (2002): 2611-4

6. Puttick MP, Wade JP, Chalmers A, Connell DG, Rangno KK "Acute local reactions after intraarticular hylan for osteoarthritis of the knee [see comments." J Rheumatol 22 (1995): 1311-4

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.