Hyaluronate Sodium (Injection)

Hyaluronate sodium injection is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring substance that helps to keep the joints working properly. It is used to treat the discomfort of osteoarthritis in the knees.

Overview

In the US, hyaluronate sodium is known under the following brand names. Each different brand contains a slightly different formulation, enabling your doctor to choose the most appropriate product for your individual condition:

  • Supartz FX
  • Supartz (sodium hyaluronate)
  • Hyalgan LL
  • Hyalgan (sodium hyaluronate)
  • Gel-One
  • Euflexxa (1% sodium hyaluronate)

This drug is only available via a doctor's prescription and is usually administered in a clinic or GP surgery setting by a trained medical professional. The medication comes in jelly/gel or solution form.

Hyaluronate sodium injection is a synthetic version of a substance called hyaluronan that is contained naturally in the body's joints. This substance acts as a shockabsorber and lubricant inside the joint, allowing the surfaces to glide over each other smoothly. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage within the joints to degrade or become damaged, usually as part of the ageing process when less hyaluronan is produced by the body.

Hyaluronate sodium injection directly into the knees helps to boost levels of hyaluronan in the knee joints, relieving the pain and enabling smoother movement and improving mobility.

Hyaluronate sodium injection cannot cure your knee osteoarthritis, but it can be very effective in relieving the symptoms.

Conditions treated

  • Knee osteoarthritis

Type of medicine

  • Viscosupplement
  • Solution
  • Injection

Side effects

Together with the effects it is designed to produce, hyaluronate sodium injection can bring a few unwanted side effects. Not everyone treated with this medicine will experience any side effects at all, but if you do notice any, you may need to have further treatment.

If you notice any of the effects listed in the bullet points below, you may need to check with your treating physician:

  • Tightness in chest, problems breathing, and/or wheezing
  • Swelling of face, eyelids, or lips
  • Stuffy nose
  • Hives, skin rash, and/or itching
  • Redness or pain at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Severe dizziness or feeling faint
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Cough
  • Redness of skin, or blue color, or flushing

There are a few unwanted effects that may be caused by hyaluronate sodium injection that usually sort themselves out and disappear within a few days, once your body has become accustomed to the drug. You may be given some information by your doctor on how to prevent or reduce these effects. However, if any of the following effects are very persistent or troubling, you must check with your treating physician:

  • Swelling of the knee
  • Stomach pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Large, non-elevated purple or blue patches in the skin
  • Itching of the skin
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

There may be some side effects that are experienced by some patients who have received hyaluronate sodium injection that are not listed in this guide. If you notice any other side effects or have a bad reaction to this drug, check with your GP without delay.

Dosage

It should be noted by patients that the dose of this medication will not necessarily be the same for everyone. You must adhere to your treating physician's directions or the instructions given on the dispensary product label. The information given in this guide is only based on the recommended average for this drug. You must not change your dose if it is at variance from this unless you are told to do so by your treating physician.

The number of doses, the frequency of those doses, and the full duration of your course of treatment with hyaluronate sodium injection will depend on your medical condition and the particular product that your doctor has decided to use.

If after receiving treatment with this medication you do not feel that your condition has improved, or if you think that it has become worse, you should check with your GP right away.

For injection (parenteral) dose to treat knee pain:

  • Adults: One 20 mg injection into the knee joint once weekly at weekly intervals for a total of five doses.
  • Children: Your child's doctor will advise you on the dose and use of this drug.

Interactions

Medical interactions

There are some medications that must never be used at the same time, as doing so could trigger an unpleasant or unsafe interaction between the two drugs. However, in some cases it may be necessary to take more than one drug at the same time, even though an interaction could take place. In this instance, your treating physician may change the frequency or dose of one of your drugs.

Before you begin using hyaluronate sodium injection, tell your GP if you are taking any other medications, including over the counter products, herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, or diet pills.

Other interactions

You should not eat or consume particular foodstuffs at the same time as taking certain drugs, as this could cause an interaction. Similarly, using alcohol or tobacco with some drugs can cause an interaction. Talk with your treating physician regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, and food with this medicine.

Medical interactions

Some existing or historical health conditions can affect how hyaluronate sodium injection works. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other health issues. In the case of this drug, you must mention if you have a skin infection or other skin conditions at the proposed injection site; hyaluronate sodium should not be injected in this place.

Warnings

Before deciding to receive treatment with a particular medication, you should consider the risks as well as the benefits of doing so. You should make this important decision based on discussions with your GP. There are a number of considerations to be borne in mind when deciding whether to receive treatment with hyaluronate sodium injection:

Allergies

Be sure to let your doctor know if you have ever noticed any strange or allergic reactions to hyaluronate sodium injection or to any other prescription medication. You should also mention any bad reactions that you have had to over the counter drugs, certain foods, food dyes, animal derivative products, or food preservatives.

Pediatric

Hyaluronate sodium injection is usually only used to treat knee osteoarthritis in adults, and there consequently no specific information concerning its use in children. If you have concerns or questions regarding the use of this drug to treat your child, ask your child's treating physician for more information.

Geriatric

There have been no recorded studies into the effects of hyaluronate sodium injection specifically on elderly patients. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this drug may cause geriatric-specific problems. If you have any questions or concerns in this regard, have a chat with your treating physician.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There is not research to suggest that using hyaluronate sodium injection to treat pregnant women could pose any form of risk to the unborn baby. However, you may wish to discuss this possible risks with your GP or midwife before you have the treatment.

Similarly, there is nothing to show that hyaluronate sodium passes into breast milk, where it could be ingested by a nursing infant. If you are worried about this, talk with your doctor for more information and advice. To be on the safe side, you may wish to use another method of feeding your infant for the duration of your treatment with this medication.

Medical complications

For the first few days following your treatment with hyaluronate sodium injection, you should avoid standing for prolonged periods. It is also advisable to avoid activities that put a lot of strain on the legs such as heavy lifting, jogging, or playing sports that involve jumping or turning suddenly.

Storage

Hyaluronate sodium injection is usually given in a clinic or GP surgery setting. You will therefore not be required to store this medication in your home. Your health service provider should store the drug as per the instructions given by the product manufacturer.

Summary

Hyaluronate sodium injection is given by a trained health professional in a clinic, doctor's surgery, or hospital setting. The drug is used to treat knee osteoarthritis and is administered via an injection straight into your knee.

The drug is a synthetic version of a naturally produced substance called hyaluronan that gives the knee joints flexibility and enables them to work smoothly and without pain. Osteoarthritis causes the production of hyaluronan to diminish, resulting in the degradation of the joint and pain. Hyaluronate sodium helps to support the levels of hyaluronan in the patient's knee joints, thus relieving pain and improving mobility.

Hyaluronate sodium will not provide a cure for your knee osteoarthritis, but it is often very effective in relieving the pain that the condition can cause.

This medication can cause a few minor side effects and is safe to use with most other medicines. However, you should still see your treating physician regularly so that your condition can be monitored and any side effects that you may be experiencing can be addressed promptly.