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Conventionally, doctors prescribe oral analgesics or recommend physical therapy as first-line treatments for osteoarthrosis patients. However, some patients may not be able to obtain adequate pain relief from these conservative treatments, making it necessary to use viscosupplements. Synvisc and Synvisc One are among the most popular viscosupplement injections used for osteoarthritis knee pain. Basically, viscosupplementation works by exerting a lubricating effect in the joint. Formulated as an injectable gel-like fluid, viscosupplements such as Synvisc and Synvisc One help to absorb shock, allowing for smoother movements between the bones. This significantly improves knee pain and patient mobility.
Both Synvisc and Synvisc One are both developed by Sanofi S.A, a global pharmaceutical company based in France, and are actually the same injectable. The two viscosupplements contain the same active ingredient, which is hyaluronic acid (or specifically, hylan G-F 20). Hyaluronic acid is a type of naturally occurring substance found abundantly in the skin and joint. Notably, the hyaluronic acid in Synvisc and Synvisc One has been chemically modified, hence the increased molecular weights. It is believed that injectables with a higher molecular weight can better mimic the natural lubricant in the joint.
Synvisc One has the same formulation as Synvisc, although its dosing schedule is different. Synvisc and Synvisc One supplement the fluid in the knee, thereby cushioning and lubricating the joint. Both preparations have a duration of action of about 6 months, providing knee pain relief that lasts. Both Synvisc and Synvisc One are indicated for patients who respond inadequately to conventional treatment modalities (e.g. over-the-counter pain medicines or exercise).
In terms of the dosage, Synvisc is usually provided in three separate injections. In contrast, Synvisc One is a single-dose formulation that only requires a single injection. This reduces the number of doctor visits required, thereby eliminating the inconvenience of multiple visits and minimizing the cost of treatment.
Synvisc and Synvisc One are administered through the same method. First, any excess fluid should be removed from the joint of the knee. Taking only a few minutes to complete, the procedure involves a direct injection of hyaluronic acid gels into the joint space. When used in combination with a numbing agent, the injection process is virtually painless. Patients are advised against performing physical activities for a few day after injection. Synvisc and Synvisc One injections should be done in a clinic by a trained medical professional. The injectables are not intended for self-administration.
While you may wonder why everyone doesn’t just use Synvisc One, there’s actually good reason. Due to the increased amount of gel administered in one session with Synvisc One, it is not used for joints other than the knee. Synvisc, on the other hand, provides more flexibility for patients and doctors.
The side effect profiles of Synvisc and Synvisc One are identical. This is not surprising considering the fact that they are the same formulation. Shortly after injection, temporary swelling and pain may occur at the injection site. These symptoms are mostly mild and short-lived. Both Synvisc One and Synvisc contain hyaluronic acid derived from rooster combs; therefore, they should not be used in patients who are allergic to bird or avian proteins, feathers, and egg products.
When choosing between Synvisc and Synvisc One, it all comes down to patient preference (whether it is feasible to have multiple doctor visits and which joint is being treated). Both treatments offer the same benefits, so it is up to the patient and the doctor to determine which viscosupplement is best.