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Published: May 17, 2024

Synvisc Side Effects: What to Expect from the Treatment

Osteoarthritis knee pain is an unpleasant symptom that causes much discomfort. Luckily, contemporary medicine offers a wide range of methods of getting rid of it, starting from the intake of pain relievers and ending with the injection of Synvisc medications.

In this article, we are going to take a detailed look at Synvisc medications that, by the way, serve as the most effective treatments to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis these days. Namely, we will discuss what to expect from them, especially regarding the side effects.

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What Is Synvisc?

Synvisc is a brand of injectable treatments used to effectively relieve knee joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Produced by Sanofi in France, it is characterized by minimal invasiveness, high-quality composition, and long-lasting result.

Apart from Synvisc, Sanofi also manufactures a great number of other well-known brands, such as Adlyxin, Allegra, Apidra, Dupixent, Ranexa, and so on. In other words, it is a pharmaceutical corporation with a broad assortment of qualitative and effective products.

It is also worth mentioning that the main active ingredient in the composition of Synvisc is a natural substance called hyaluronan (or, in other words, hylan-polymer). While combined with sodium chloride, it effectively functions as a lubricant and shock absorber in a knee joint caused by osteoarthritis.

The main active ingredient of Synvisc (hylan-polymer) is a natural substance found in chicken combs. For this reason, it is contraindicated to patients who show evidence of allergic reactions to products of animal origin in general and chicken origin in particular.

How Does Synvisc Work?

Apart anything else, it is important to say that health care providers usually suggest to undergo Synvisc injections only if a patient has already tried other treatments to reduce osteoarthritis knee pain (such as the intake of simple analgesics or physical therapy) without noticing any substantial improvements.

In rare reports, a patient with osteoarthritis does not feel pain relief even after having Synvisc injected directly into a patient’s knee. If this is the case, a health care provider might either suggest to undergo up to three injections instead of one injection or recommend to consider knee joint replacement surgery.

The working principle of Synvisc is pretty straightforward. Since it is a gel-like mixture, it starts to effectively compensate for the lack of the fluid-like substance that occurs naturally in human knee almost immediately after being injected.

According to clinical trials, a single injection of Synvisc is enough to minimize joint pain in the injected knee in the majority of cases (unlike many other drugs of similar nature, including the ones from the saline control group). For this reason, the most well-known product of the brand is called Synvisc ONE.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Synvisc?

When discussing the possible side effects of Synvisc, it is worth mentioning that many patients do not notice any device-related adverse events at all after undergoing the successful treatment. At the same time, however, the medical study of Synvisc shows that several unwanted effects occur in some cases.

Below, you will be able to check out the possible side effects of Synvisc grouped into two main categories, namely common side effects and severe side effects. While the first group is generally mild and does not usually require any medical attention, the second one is much more serious.

Please note that the list of common and serious side effects of the Synvisc treatment that might be found below is rather generalized. Since each patient’s body is individual, it is possible to experience other side effects around the injected knee (for instance, a peripheral edema or acute inflammation).

Common Side Effects

In the majority of cases, a patient might experience one of the following adverse reactions after undergoing an injection of Synvisc.

#1. Injection Site Pain

Some patients claim to notice injection site pain after the treatment. As medical study shows, it oftentimes resembles muscle pain or mild muscle cramps. The avoidance of prolonged weight-bearing activities (such as high-impact sports or strenuous activities) for at least a week after the treatment might substantially minimize the risk of this side effect.

#2. Knee Swelling

The swelling of the affected knee, oftentimes followed by joint effusion, is also pretty common while a patient’s body adjusts to the injected medication. One of the reasons for it to occur is fluid build-up. Thus, some patients are recommended to remove fluid from the treatment zone shortly before the procedure.

#3. Joint Stiffness

In some cases, patients report a feeling of stiffness in the knee after receiving Synvisc. Still, it is a side effect that is usually mild and does not mean that the treatment didn’t manage to work properly. Joint stiffness usually fades away in two to five days after the procedure.

#4. Skin Irritation Around the Treatment Area

As the Synvisc drug passes into the human body, a patient might also notice temporary skin irritation around the treatment area. It is oftentimes realized through redness and itching that, however, should not cause much discomfort (such as trouble walking).

Severe Side Effects

In rare cases, a patient might feel severe side effects after one injection of Synvisc. If this is the case, professional health care should be contacted in the appropriate time.

#1. Severe Pain

Severe pain in the knee joint is an adverse reaction after the Synvisc treatment rather than a common one. In some cases, patients claim it to be supported by severe headache.

#2. Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction is something that is worth avoiding during the Synvisc treatment. At the same time, it might occur even if a patient does not seem to have an allergy to any substance in the product’s composition.

#3. Infection

Although knee joint infections are quite rare after the injection of Synvisc, some patients might still experience them. They require immediate medical intervention.

#4. Formation of Blood Clots

Last but not least, the formation of blood clots is also worth mentioning. The flat surface of leg veins is the area that requires special attention and examination in this regard.

Final Words

All in all, Synvisc is a very safe treatment of knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Still, it is preferable to be aware of the side effects you might expect to experience after undergoing it. Remember, your overall well-being is your highest priority!