What is Orthovisc (Hyaluronan)?
Orthovisc is a medication prescribed to treat knee pain in adult patients with joint inflammation (osteoarthritis), and who have not received adequate response from physical therapy and pain relievers.
Orthovisc is injected into the knee to lubricate the joint and provide a cushion, similar to the fluid in the knee.
Orthovisc belongs to the drug class, intra-articular agents and rheumatologists. This medication works by acting like a lubricant and shock absorber in the joints and helps the joints to work properly.
Orthovisc is not recommended:
- If you are allergic or have had an allergic reaction to Orthovisc or ingredients in Orthovisc
- If you are allergic to bird products, such as feathers, eggs or poultry
- If you have a bleeding disorder
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you are under 18 years old
What are the Indications for Orthovisc?
Orthovisc is approved to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
How is Orthovisc used?
This medication is given at a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Your doctor or healthcare provider will give this medication by injection into the affected knee/joint, usually weekly.
After you receive an Orthovisc injection, you should avoid any strenuous and weight-bearing activities, such as running, tennis and heavy lifting, or prolonged standing (more than one hour) for 48 hours. Patients should avoid soaking the knee in a tub for 48 hours.
Notify your doctor if your knee doesn’t get better, or if the pain worsens.
It is important to receive each dose as scheduled. If you miss a follow-up appointment, ask your healthcare provider for a new dosing schedule.
Orthovisc is administered by a healthcare provider so it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if an overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical care.
Orthovisc is available as an injection in a 30mg/2ml dose and is injected into the knee by a healthcare provider.
The recommended dose of Orthovisc is one injection given once a week for 3 to 4 weeks.
Your doctor will decide how many courses/injections you need based on the improvement in your symptoms and how you respond to this medication.
One course of Orthovisc treatment may provide up to six months of pain relief.
It’s important to understand that although Orthovisc is FDA-approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting Orthovisc, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Orthovisc, side effects may go away. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own.
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Back pain
- Swelling, redness, warmth or bruising at the injection site
- Muscle Cramps or pain
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking Orthovisc may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Allergic reaction: skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, dizziness, trouble breathing.
- Signs of infection: pain, warmth, swelling and redness around the knee that doesn’t go away or gets worse.
- Other: back pain, severe headache, fast/pounding heartbeat, fever, and tingling skin.
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using Orthovisc, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to Orthovisc or any ingredients in Orthovisc
- If you are allergic to products from birds, such as feathers, eggs or poultry
- If you have an infection in your knee or area on the skin where the injection will be given or circulation problems in your legs
- If you are required to stand for long periods of time after you receive the injection
- If you suffer from a bleeding disorder
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Avoid physical activity for 48 hours after your injection to keep your knee from swelling. Do not stand on your feet for more than 1 hour at a time during the first 48 hours after your injection. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional about when you can begin major physical activity again.
If you suffer from too much fluid in your knees, it should be treated first before you receive Orthovisc.
Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
Orthovisc should only be used during pregnancy when clearly needed. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Orthovisc while pregnant.
Breastfeeding or Planning to Breastfeed
There are no adequate studies to determine if Orthovisc will pass through to human milk. If you are breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before taking Orthovisc.
Interactions or Contraindications
Before using Orthovisc, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
Do not take Orthovisc if you suffer from any type of bleeding or blood clotting disorders such as hemophilia.
- Bird products: Do not take Orthovisc if you are allergic to products from birds, such as feathers, eggs and poultry. It can cause an allergic reaction or other problems.
- Do not take Orthovisc if you are allergic to gram positive bacteria proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
Do not take Orthovisc if have any type of skin infection in your knee or the skin around your knee. Wait for the infection to clear up and speak to your doctor before you receive an Orthovisc injection.