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    Steroids and Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis

    Shots can help relieve pain from knee osteoarthritis. Two kinds of injections are used: hyaluronic acid and corticosteroids. What can you expect from each type?

    Hyaluronic Acid

    Brand Name
    How It's Given
    Euflexxa 3 injections, each 1 week apart
    Hyalgan 3 to 5 injections, each 1 week apart
    Orthovisc 3 or 4 injections, each 1 week apart
    Supartz 3 to 5 injections, each 1 week apart
    Synvisc 3 injections, each 1 week apart
    Synvisc-One 1 injection

    Side effects include pain, swelling, skin irritation, and tenderness. These reactions generally are mild and do not last long.

    You should not take this product if you have had an allergic reaction to hyaluronan products in the past.

    Corticosteroid Injections

    How It's Given
    Methylprednisolone acetate 1 injection (can be repeated every 3 months, but should be limited as much as possible; no more than 4 times a year)
    Triamcinolone 1 injection (can be repeated every 3 months, but should be limited as much as possible)

    *Relief from higher doses may last 16 to 24 weeks.

    Side effects include short-term pain flare-up, flushing of the face, thinning of skin or fat near the injection site, and risk of serious allergic reaction.

    Other corticosteroids may be available.

    For Both Types of Injections

    You should not have an injection into the knee if you have a knee joint infection or skin diseases or infections around the injection site.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on April 21, 2015

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