injection for osteoarthritis
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Last Updated On: June 7, 2024

Orthovisc Prescribing Information: Safe Use and Administration

Published on: Jun 7, 2024

According to the American Family Physician, one in four adults suffers chronic knee pain. This condition significantly impacts individualsā€™ quality of life and activity levels, underscoring the urgent need for effective treatments. Though surgery is the most common treatment, not everyone is willing to undergo an invasive procedure.

Orthovisc, a high-molecular-weight hyaluronan, emerges as a beacon of hope for those suffering from knee pain. Specifically designed to lubricate and cushion the knee joint without surgery, Orthovisc alleviates osteoarthritis symptoms and acts as a preventive measure to maintain joint health during various activities.

In this article, weā€™ll discuss the prescribing information of Orthovisc, including its proper dosage, administration, and the importance of post-injection care.

Key Takeaways

  • Orthovisc should be administered by a healthcare professional familiar with injection techniques for the knee joint. Incorrect administration can lead to adverse effects.
  • Orthovisc is administered as a three-injection series, one week apart. Each injection contains 30 mg of hyaluronan.
  • Before prescribing Orthovisc, healthcare providers should evaluate patients for allergies to hyaluronan products, as well as any infections or skin diseases in the knee area. Additionally, Orthovisc should not be used in patients with knee joint infections or skin diseases.

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Orthovisc Dosing and Administration Guidelines

Orthovisc, an injectable solution made from ultra-pure hyaluronic acid, is a lubricant and shock absorber in the knee joint, alleviating osteoarthritis-related pain. Administered directly into the knee joint, Orthovisc is proven effective for knee injections, according to U.S. studies. Each knee requiring treatment should have its syringe for optimal safety and cleanliness.


Administration Techniques and Injection Guidelines

Orthovisc is a treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. This injectable solution helps people who suffer from knee problems to move better. Here are the steps and guidelines for giving an Orthovisc injection safely:

  • Verify the Medication: Make sure you have Orthovisc, a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid viscosupplement.
  • Prepare the Patient: Inform them about what to expect during and after the injection. 
  • Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need an Orthovisc syringe, gloves, alcohol wipes, and a bandage.
  • Clean the Area: Use alcohol wipes to clean the skin where you will give the injection.
  • Wear Gloves: This keeps everything clean and safe.
  • Remove Air Bubbles: Tap the syringe gently and push a tiny bit out to remove air bubbles.
  • Find the Right Spot: Locate where to insert the needle on the knee carefully.
  • Inject Slowly: Carelessly insert the needle into the knee joint and slowly push all the Orthovisc from the syringe out.
  • Don’t Rush: Take time during each step to ensure everything goes smoothly.
  • Aftercare Advice: Tell patients what they should do after getting their injection.

Patient Selection and Assessment

Selecting suitable patients for treatment is necessary. Healthcare professionals can conduct a thorough consultation, starting discussions like Orthovisc vs. Monovisc to know which is a good choice for them. This ensures the therapy’s effectiveness and minimizes risks. Here’s a detailed list of how to choose:

  • Confirm Osteoarthritis in The Knee. Orthovisc treats pain associated with this condition. Ensure your patient has a diagnosis.
  • Check the Severity of Their Condition. Orthovisc works best for those who do not respond well to simple pain medications or physical therapy.
  • Age Matters. While itā€™s safe for adults, special consideration is needed for patients under 18 or over 65.
  • Review the Patient’s Medical History. Patients with allergies to hyaluronic acid products should avoid Orthovisc.
  • Evaluate Current Treatments. Those using steroids or other knee injections may need to wait before starting Orthovisc.
  • Consider the Joint’s Health. It’s only approved for knees, so ensure no significant issues exist in other joints that might affect treatment.
  • Look at Activity Levels. Patients willing to follow through with physical therapy might see better results.
  • Assess Overall Health Status. Those with certain conditions, like skin diseases near the injection site, should proceed with caution.

Safety Considerations and Precautions

Orthovisc is vital for managing knee pain due to osteoarthritis. It’s made from pure hyaluronic acid and administered via knee joint injection. It should be administered only into the knee joint. Before administration, verify the patient’s medical history and perform a thorough knee examination. 


During administration, use a sterile technique, clean the skin, and wear gloves. After administration, advise patients to avoid strenuous activities and schedule a follow-up appointment.

Contraindications and Special Populations

Orthovisc therapy isn’t for everyone. It is vital to know who should not receive it and exceptional cases that need extra care. Orthovisc therapy offers relief for knee pain from osteoarthritis. Here are the main reasons why a patient should not receive Orthovisc injections:

  • Allergies to Hyaluronic Acid Products: If a patient has had allergic reactions to injectable hyaluronic acid products before, Orthovisc might cause similar issues. 
  • Skin Infections Near the Injection Site: Infections on the skin around the knee mean Orthovisc injections must wait.
  • Joint Infections: Just like skin infections, Orthovisc should not be used if there is an infection inside the knee joint.
  • Bleeding Disorders: Patients with conditions that affect blood clotting need careful consideration before getting Orthovisc shots.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The effects of Orthovisc on pregnant or breastfeeding women haven’t been studied enough. 
  • Children: Since studies have focused on adults, Orthovisc is not recommended for people under 18.
  • Elderly: Older patients often have more health issues. Check their overall health to ensure they’re good candidates.

Adverse Reactions and Management

Orthovisc injections may cause mild side effects like pain, swelling, or warmth at the injection site. Rarely, patients may experience a rash, itching, increased knee discomfort, infection, or allergic reactions. Close monitoring is crucial to promptly address adverse reactions, ensuring patient safety and optimal treatment outcomes.


Adhering to the prescribing information for Orthovisc is essential for ensuring the safe and effective use of this viscosupplement in managing knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. Healthcare providers can optimize treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction with Orthovisc therapy by following the recommended dosing and administration guidelines.


1. Is Orthovisc a type of steroid?

No, Orthovisc isn’t a steroid. It’s a treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Think of it more like a lubricant for your joints.

2. How often should I take Orthovisc, and how does it compare to Synvisc or Euflexxa?

Orthovisc doses are usually given as a series of shots ā€“ typically one per week for about three to four weeks. When comparing Orthovisc to Synvisc or Euflexxa, the main difference lies in their composition and duration of effectiveness, but all aim to ease joint pain.

3. Can using Orthovisc lead to any side effects?

Like most treatments, Orthovisc could have some side effects, such as pain where the shot was given or swelling around the knee. But donā€™t worry too much; these usually aren’t severe.

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Bunt CW, Jonas CE, Chang JG. Knee Pain in Adults and Adolescents: The Initial Evaluation. American Family Physician. 2018;98(9):576-585.

Using Orthovisc in Viscosupplementation. Verywell Health.