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Follow the latest research regarding osteoarthritis treatment options.

A Patient’s Guide to Understanding NSAIDs

You most likely have taken nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — either prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) — perhaps even before you developed arthritis. At low doses, these drugs help a wide range of problems, from muscle aches and headaches to minor pain and fever. At higher prescription doses, NSAIDs help reduce joint inflammation.

NSAIDs fall into three basic categories: traditional NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors and salicylates. All NSAIDs work by blocking prostaglandins — hormone-like substances that contribute to pain, inflammation, fever and muscle cramps. However, there are subtle differences between the three types.

Traditional NSAIDs

With 20 prescription medications in the group — three of which are available in lower-strength, non-prescription doses — traditional NSAIDs are the largest subset of the NSAID class. Like all medications, even non-prescription versions of NSAIDs carry a risk of side effects, including stomach upset and gastrointestinal bleeding, especially in people over 60. For this reason, consult your doctor before taking any medication you buy without a prescription.

COX-2 inhibitors

Like traditional NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors help reduce pain and inflammation but are designed to be safer for the stomach. Digestive tract studies have shown less stomach damage from COX-2 inhibitors compared to traditional NSAIDs; however, COX-2s have not been used as long as other NSAIDs.

Salicylates

The original category of NSAIDs — the salicylates (suh-LIS-uh-lates) — includes aspirin and is still preferred by many patients and doctors. If you plan to take aspirin for more than occasional aches and pains, consult your doctor. Frequent large doses, which can cause some serious side effects, usually are needed to control arthritis pain and inflammation. Your doctor can work with you to determine the best dosage and help you prevent or manage side effects, including kidney problems or gastrointestinal bleeding.

Your doctor may prescribe a chemical variation referred to as a nonacetylated salicylate, which is specially formulated to have fewer side effects, if aspirin is too risky for you. Unfortunately, nonacetylated salicylates lack aspirin’s beneficial protection against cardiovascular disease. Therefore, if you’ve been advised to take low-dose (“baby”) aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke and your doctor prescribes a nonacetylated salicylate — or any other NSAID, for that matter — ask about continuing your low-dose aspirin along with it.

PLEASE NOTE: This article is adapted from Arthritis Today®, the health magazine published by the Arthritis Foundation® and is presented for informational purposes only. This information is not meant to take the place of the advice of your doctor. By providing you with this information, Sanofi Biosurgery is not endorsing its content nor does it represent that the information is necessarily appropriate for you. You should consult with your doctor before starting any new health or exercise regimen.

The views presented herein are solely those of Arthritis Today and their publisher the Arthritis Foundation. Sanofi Biosurgery does not have any input in, or editorial control over Arthritis Today and is not responsible for its content. Arthritis Today is a registered trademark of the Arthritis Foundation.

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Indication

Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.

Important Safety Information for Synvisc-One

Before trying Synvisc-One, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Allergic reactions, some which can be potentially severe, have been reported during the use of Synvisc-One. Should not be used in patients with an infected knee joint, skin disease or infection around the area where the injection will be given, and should be used with caution when there is swelling of the legs due to problems with venous stasis or lymphatic drainage.

Synvisc-One is only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Synvisc-One has not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds – such as feathers, eggs or poultry – or if your leg is swollen or infected.

Synvisc-One has not been tested in children (≤21years old), pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child.

Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment.

The side effects sometimes seen after Synvisc-One include (<2% each): pain, swelling, heat, redness, and/or fluid build-up in or around the knee. Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects after treatment with Synvisc-One.

 

View the Complete Prescribing Information for Synvisc-One

 

Indication

SYNVISC® (hylan G-F 20) is used to relieve knee pain due to osteoarthritis (OA). It is for patients who do not get enough relief from simple painkillers such as acetaminophen, or from exercise and physical therapy.

Important Safety Information for SYNVISC

Before trying SYNVISC, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Serious allergic reactions have been reported. Should not be used in patients with an infected knee joint, skin disease or infection around the area where the injection will be given, or circulatory problems in the legs.

SYNVISC is only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. SYNVISC has not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds - such as feathers, eggs or poultry - or if your leg is swollen or infected.

SYNVISC has not been tested in children (≤21years old), pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child. Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment.

The side effects sometimes seen after SYNVISC include pain, swelling, heat, redness, and/or fluid buildup in or around the knee. These reactions were generally mild and did not last long, but in rare occasions these side effects were more severe. The most commonly occurring adverse events outside of the injected knee were rash, fever, nausea, and headache.

View the Complete Prescribing Information for SYNVISC

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Important Safety Information: SYNVISC and Synvisc-One are contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to hyaluronan products or patients with infections in or around the target knee.