Knee-Specific Treatment for Arthritis Sufferers
March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
Many arthritis sufferers experience pain in a very specific area. One of the most irksome localities for arthritis pain is the knee joint. For those who experience knee pain and are unresponsive to simple painkillers, exercise, or physiotherapy, an alternative called Hyalgan® has been developed.
Hyalgan is a solution of sodium hyaluronate, a hyaluronic acid derivative. Hyaluronate is a natural chemical found in the body. Hyalgan is injected directly into the affected knee joint. It replicates and restores the natural lubricating and cushioning elements of normal Synovial fluid (joint fluid), thus improving shock absorption. Because of these facts it is considered a therapy, not a drug. It is intended for the treatment of osteoarthritic knee pain that will not respond to more conservative nonpharmacologic therapies or to simple analgesics such as Acetaminophen.
Hyalgan is given in a succession of injections, each one week apart, for a total of three to five injections, depending upon the particular product (i.e. concentration). It is imperative that the patients receive each injection at the scheduled time. Patients may not experience relief until they have received several injections. The injection can be given at home, but a health care provider must instruct the administrator in how to use it.
Injections of Hyalgan have in some cases been reported to increase inflammation in the affected knee, but this is only fleeting. In a U.S. clinical trial of 495 patients, adverse side effects included gastrointestinal complaints, headache, local ecchymosis and rash, local joint pain and swelling, and local pruritus. Other possible side effects are back pain and mild bruising, heat, redness, swelling, or pain at the injection site. Also, pregnant or lactating women and those with allergies to bird proteins, feathers, or egg products should not use Hyalgan.
Fidia. (November 2011). Hyalgan®. Fidia Pharma USA Inc. http://www.hyalgan.com/hcp.
“Hyalgan”. (February 1, 2012). Drugs.com. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. February 12, 2012. http://www.drugs.com/cdi/hyalgan.html.