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Synvisc, Synvisc-One (Hylan GF 20)

Company: Genzyme
Approval Status: Approved August 1997
Treatment for: pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee
Areas: Musculoskeletal; Rheumatology

| General Information | Clinical Results | Side Effects | Mechanism of Action | Additional Information |


General Information

Synvisc is a gel-like mixture that is made up of hylan A fluid, hylan B gel, and salt water. Hylan A and hylan B are made from a substance called hyaluronan also known as sodium hyaluronate. This is a natural substance found in the body and is present in very high amounts in joints. The body’s own hyaluronan acts like a lubricant and a shock absorber in the joint and is needed for the joint to work properly. In osteoarthritis there may not be enough hyaluronan, and there may be a decrease in the quality of the hyaluronan in the joint.

Synvisc is specifically indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative nonpharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics.

Synvisc is supplied as a gel for intra-articular injection. The recommended initial dose of the drug is an intra-articular injection once a week (one week apart) for a total of three injections.


Clinical Results

FDA Approval
The FDA approval of Synvisc was based on the results of three clinical studies.

Study One This multicenter, randomized, double-blind prospective clinical trial enrolled 103 subjects at four sites in Germany. The study compared the safety and effectiveness of three weekly intra-articular injections of Synvisc and of physiological saline over a 26-week period. A significantly greater number of saline-treated patients took concurrent osteoarthritis medications than did patients treated with Synvisc. While both the Synvisc and the saline-treated groups improved significantly as compared to baseline in all effectiveness measures, the Synvisc group showed a significantly greater improvement in all outcome measures than did the saline-treated group.

Study Two This controlled, randomized, double-blind prospective clinical trial enrolled 29 subjects at a single center in Germany. The subjects received three weekly intra-articular injections of Synvisc or physiological saline and compared for safety and effectiveness over a 26-week period. The results of the study were similar to those in the German multicenter study, except that the significance levels in most comparisons were smaller. In both of these studies the most pain relief and the greatest amount of treatment success occurred 8 to 12 weeks after Synvisc treatment began.

Study Three This prospective, concurrently controlled, randomized, double-blind multicenter study enrolled 90 subjects at five U.S. sites. The study compared the safety and effectiveness of three weekly intra-articular injections of Synvisc and of three weekly arthrocenteses in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee over a four-week period after the first injection or arthrocentesis. Both the Synvisc-treated and the arthrocentesis-treated groups improved significantly as compared to baseline in all effectiveness measures. However, there were no significant differences between the Synvisc-treated and arthrocentesis-treated patients at any time during the four-week evaIuation period.


Side Effects

Adverse events associated with the use of Synvsic may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Heat
  • Redness
  • Fluid build-up around the knee
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Itching

Mechanism of Action

Synvisc is a gel-like mixture that is made up of hylan A fluid, hylan B gel, and salt water. Hylan A and hylan B are made from a substance called hyaluronan also known as sodium hyaluronate. This is a natural substance found in the body and is present in very high amounts in joints. The body’s own hyaluronan acts like a lubricant and a shock absorber in the joint and is needed for the joint to work properly. In osteoarthritis there may not be enough hyaluronan, and there may be a decrease in the quality of the hyaluronan in the joint.


Additional Information

For additional information regarding Synvisc or pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee, please visit the Synvisc One web page.




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Synvisc, Synvisc-One Drug Information

The Synvisc, Synvisc-one drug information shown above is licensed from Thomson CenterWatch. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.





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