Synvisc is an artificial fluid that is used to provide relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Working closely with your doctor can help you avoid negative effects that will limit your ability to use Synvisc effectively.
Synvisc is a synovial fluid replacement that is used to help manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis. This medication is typically administered to the shoulder, hip, knee or ankle as a synthetic replacement for the natural fluid that lubricates these joints. Application of Synvisc can provide relief from osteoarthritis symptoms in these joints for approximately 6-12 months.
Who Should and Shouldn't Take Synvisc?
Patients that suffer from osteoarthritis can work with their doctor to make sure they meet all of the conditions listed on the medications. Most who suffer from osteoarthritis in the joints can see improvement with the application of products like Synvisc. Those that have used synovial fluid replacement products but developed an allergic reaction to the products should avoid using Synvisc. Those that are allergic to products including feathers, poultry or eggs should also avoid Synvisc.
If you have an infection in the joint or on the skin near the injection site you should not have a Synvisc until this clears. If you have a planned injection in the leg, but your veins or lymphatic system does not allow for the proper flow of liquid you may not be able to use Synvisc.
How to Use Synvisc
Synvisc is injected into the affected joint to provide relief. The dosage of your medication will vary based on the joint in question and the severity of the osteoarthritis. Body weight and other medical conditions present in the patient may also play a role in how Synvisc is administered and the size of the dose given.
- For osteoarthritis of the hip, ankle or shoulder- Doses are typically given in a single dose. If doses do not provide the necessary relief, additional doses can be administered to the affected joints in 1-3 months after the initial dose.
- For osteoarthritis of the knee- Osteoarthritis patients treating symptoms in the knee typically receive one dose a week for three weeks. If this does not provide the necessary relief an additional set of three doses can be administered after one month has passed. Patients should not receive more than six injections in six months.
Injections are typically given in a clinic by a medical professional. In the event that you will be administering your own doses, make sure you have a full set of instructions from your doctor on how and when your doses should be administered. If you accidentally miss a dose, talk with your doctor about how to safely make it up. Store all unused medication in a secure location at room temperature. Ask your doctor about the proper way to dispose of any unused medication. Do not place any medication in the water such as pouring it down the sink or toilet.
Side Effects of Using Synvisc
Approximately one percent of users experience side effects from Synvisc. Most of these can easily be managed and will fade over time. Common side effects include mild pain, heat, swelling or redness around the injection site. Let your doctor know if these side effects occur to ensure that this condition does not require additional medical examination.
In rare cases patients have experienced headache, dizziness, fever, chills, continued pain in at the injection site, burning or prickling sensations in the hands and feet, swelling of the hands and feet, flushing of the face, muscle cramps, nausea or fatigue. Let your doctor know if these side effects occur. If it feels as though these side effects are putting you in danger get medical attention right away.
Patients that suffer from symptoms of an allergic reaction, they should stop taking their Synvisc doses immediately. Side effects of an allergic reaction include swelling of the face, throat or tongue, difficulty breathing or hives.
Warnings for Using Synvisc
Before you start using Synvisc you should make a point of talking all the precautions over with your doctor. Any significant facts in your health history can have an impact on your ability to use Synvisc successfully.
- Inform Your Doctor- Any other medications you are taking could have an impact on the way Synvisc interacts with your body. Supplements, nicotine, street drugs or alcohol can also increase the effects of Synvisc, making the combination unsafe. Let your doctor know about any substances that may be in your system, including natural supplements so your doctor can make appropriate recommendations on how to adjust your dosing. Also inform your doctor about any medical or food allergies you are aware of to ensure that you will not have a negative reaction to ingredients in Synvisc.
- Activity- Your doctor will typically have you restrict strenuous activities in the days following your Synvisc injection. Let your doctor know about any physical activities you normally take part in so they can make appropriate recommendations on how to properly alter this schedule. Some activities that put a heavy amount of stress on the affected joint may need to be limited permanently to avoid serious damage.
- During Pregnancy- If you are pregnant or become pregnant while using Synvisc let your doctor know right away. Tests have not yet determined if it is safe to use Synvisc while you are pregnant. Your doctor will work with you to help determine if the potential benefits of using this medication outweighs any potential risk.
- Breast Feeding- Similarly, let your doctor know if you are actively breastfeeding. Ingredients in Synvisc may leech into the breast milk and have a medical effect on your baby. Your doctor will go over this potential risk so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you can breastfeed while using Synvisc.
- Children- The safety of using Synvisc under the age of 18 has not been established.