Orthovisc: Uses, Dosage & Warnings

Orthovisc: Uses, Dosage & Warnings

Oct 25, 2022

Did you know that over 30 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis? In other words, the disease serves as a cause of joint pain for every tenth citizen of the country.

Moreover, osteoarthritis has a chronic character, which means that its symptoms cannot be completely cured. However, they might be substantially reduced with the help of advancements in contemporary medicine.

Orthovisc is one of the most effective medications that are used to take care of osteoarthritis symptoms these days. So, how about taking a closer look at the product right away?

Before we start: Other pharmaceutical products that are efficiently used to treat osteoarthritis include Hyalgan, Durolane, Synvisc, Crespine, and a great number of other drugs.

What Is Orthovisc?

While being manufactured by a global pharmaceutical company Anika Therapeutics, Inc., Orthovisc is a brand that produces safe, effective, and long-lasting medications to provide patients who suffer from osteoarthritis with profound knee pain relief.

An interesting fact #1: The motto of Anika Therapeutics, Inc. is “restore active living,” which reflects the main aim of the company perfectly well.

Orthovisc products stand side-by-side with other joint preservation, restoration, and treatments solutions of Anika Therapeutics, Inc., such as:

  • Tactoset;
  • Hyalofast;
  • Monovisc;
  • Cingal;
  • Hyvisc;
  • And so on.

An interesting fact #2: Joint pain is not the only symptom oftentimes associated with osteoarthritis. The complete list of health problems that occur as a result of the disease includes joint stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and so on. As well, the loss of flexibility, bone spurs, and grating sensations belong to the most widely-spread symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The composition of Orthovisc is entirely based on ultra-pure and absolutely biodegradable hyaluronic acid of non-animal origin. It is characterized by high molecular weight and middle concentration (namely, 15 mg/ml).

An interesting fact #3: Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. It might be found in the eyes, skin, and connective tissues. Moreover, hyaluronic acid serves as a naturally occurring lubricant and shock absorber in joints.

What Is Orthovisc Used For?

What Is Orthovisc Used For?

The primary aim of Orthovisc is to ensure a patient with substantial pain relief in knee joints that are affected by osteoarthritis. It is oftentimes used if other treatments of the disease have turned out to be inefficient, for instance:

  • If physical therapy has brought no pain relief;
  • If the intake of simple pain relievers (namely, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) hasn’t managed to reduce pain;
  • If other methods of conservative non-pharmacologic therapy (for instance, corticosteroid injections) have led to either zero or minimal results when treating osteoarthritis;
  • And so on.

In most cases, Orthovisc is used to treat osteoarthritis-related knee pain. However, it might also be applied to take care of the painful feelings in other joints, such as the hip or elbow ones.

An interesting fact #4: In the medical setting of the U.S. and Canada, Orthovisc is mainly applied to treat pain in knee joints. While in Europe, in its turn, the product is used to reduce pain in all synovial joints. 

How Is Orthovisc Used?

Orthovisc is an injectable medication. Therefore, it should be administered directly to the joint affected by osteoarthritis with the help of a fine gauge needle and a single-use syringe.

A safety note: Due to the fact that Orthovisc belongs to products intended for proficient use, it should be injected exclusively by a trained healthcare professional who will follow special treatment instructions.

Under normal circumstances, the procedure of the Orthovisc treatment might be subdivided into three main stages, namely pre-treatment, actual treatment, and post-treatment.

Pre-Treatment

During the pre-treatment, a healthcare practitioner should thoroughly investigate the current medical condition of a patient. It should be done for the purpose of excluding any contraindications to the procedure, such as:

  • Allergic reactions to any component of Orthovisc (especially hyaluronic acid);
  • Serious health complications, such as diabetes mellitus, untreated epilepsy, or poor blood clotting;
  • Ongoing skin diseases at the injection site;
  • Predisposition to knee joint infections;
  • And so on.

*The complete list of contraindications to the administration of Orthovisc is rather individual and depends on a patient’s personal health condition. For instance, it is not recommended to inject Orthovisc if a patient is pregnant or breastfeeding since it is not yet clear whether the drug passes into the breast milk or not.

As well, a patient should inform a healthcare practitioner about all the medicines and nutritional supplements that they are currently taking to avoid any possible drug interactions that might be damaging to a patient’s health.

A safety note: The ignorance of contraindications to the injection of Orthovisc might lead to serious symptoms and complications, such as severe headache, pounding heartbeat, back pain, and so on. Thus, make sure to talk to your doctor prior to the procedure.

Treatment

After the doctor’s approval of the fact that a patient does not have any contraindications to the injection of Orthovisc, the procedure might be performed. As already mentioned, the product should be administered directly into a patient’s joint that is required to be treated.

If needed, a doctor might also apply a topical anesthetic to the injection site shortly before the procedure in order to reduce a patient’s temporary pain during the injection and make it more comfortable. However, it is not obligatory and strongly depends on a patient’s pain threshold.

An interesting fact #5: On average, the duration of the procedure that assumes the injection of Orthovisc lasts only several minutes. In other words, a patient does not have to devote much time to receive the treatment since everything might be done in just one day.

Post-Treatment

The administration of Orthovisc is minimally invasive. Thus, a patient might return to their usual lifestyle shortly after the injection. Still, it is recommended to follow these simple post-treatment recommendations for the first several days after the procedure:

  • A patient should not stay on their feet for a substantial time period (which is longer than one hour);
  • A patient should avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, playing tennis, or jogging;
  • And so on.

As well a patient might also apply an ice pack to the injection site for fifteen minutes every four hours in order to minimize the feeling of pain or discomfort after the treatment.

An interesting fact #6: Orthovisc is a fast-acting product. Therefore, a patient might expect pain relief shortly after the injection of Orthovisc.

How Many Orthovisc Injections Are Needed to Reduce Knee Pain?

The treatment protocol for Orthovisc assumes three to four injections of the product with a four-week interval between each of them. In most cases, it tends to provide a patient with a durable result that lasts up to six months.

*The above-mentioned treatment protocol might vary depending on a patient’s individual situation. Thus, it is a task of a healthcare practitioner to define the most appropriate dosing schedule in each particular case.

While some people experience pain relief right after the first injection, others might need to complete the full treatment course in order to let all the benefits of the medication occur and feel better. As well, it is essential to follow the treatment protocol precisely in order to achieve the best possible results.

A safety note: A missed dose of Orthovisc is not recommended since it might have a negative impact on the efficiency of the treatment. Thus, make sure to follow your individual dosing schedule precisely.

Is It Safe to Undergo an Orthovisc Injection?

Orthovisc belongs to extremely safe pharmaceutical products. It is an FDA-approved treatment that rarely causes any serious adverse reactions. However, the administration of Orthovisc might still lead to the appearance of several side effects. Here is the list of the most widely-spread ones:

  • Temporarily increased pain in the affected joint;
  • Redness around the injection site;
  • Joint stiffness;
  • Numbness at the area of the treatment;
  • Itching;
  • Swelling;
  • And so on.

In most cases, these side effects tend to disappear on their own within several days after the injection. Thus, they do not tend to require any special medical supervision. However, a patient is recommended to contact their healthcare practitioner in case of any unexpected and unpleasant symptoms after the procedure.

An interesting fact #7: The approximate Orthovisc injection cost equals $900. However, it strongly depends on different factors, such as a patient’s geographical location, preferable clinic, and proficiency of a healthcare practitioner. Moreover, the treatment with the help of Orthovisc might also be partially covered by several types of health insurance.

A Bottom Line: Get Rid of Joint Pain with Orthovisc!

All in all, Orthovisc is a high-quality pharmaceutical product that is used to relieve knee joint pain. It is an exceptionally safe, effective, and long-lasting medication that helps patients who suffer from osteoarthritis to restore active living. So, feel free to contact your healthcare practitioner and schedule the injection of Orthovisc. Get one step closer to a pain-free life!

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