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Hyalgan vs Synvisc – Comparing Viscosupplementation Treatments

David Fuller

Last Updated On: June 25, 2024

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials evaluated the effectiveness and safety of viscosupplementation for knee osteoarthritis (OA). The results revealed that viscosupplementation slightly reduced pain intensity compared to placebo, which makes the quest for optimal treatments continue.

Hyalgan, an injectable solution containing high molecular weight sodium hyaluronate, mimics the joint fluid’s lubricating and shock-absorbing properties. Specifically designed for knee pain caused by OA, Hyalgan steps in when other arthritis medications prove ineffective. As patients seek alternative knee replacement surgery, Hyalgan remains a viable option.

This article delves into the nuances of Hyalgan and its counterpart, Synvisc. We explore their mechanisms of action, safety profiles, and real-world evidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Viscosupplementation treatments such as Hyalgan and Synvisc are crucial in managing osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms by improving joint lubrication and reducing pain.
  • Understanding the composition, mechanism of action, efficacy, safety profiles, and treatment protocols of Hyalgan and Synvisc is essential for medical professionals to make informed decisions in OA management.
  • Patient-specific factors and medical history are crucial when selecting the appropriate viscosupplementation treatment.

About: Operating since 2016, Med Supply Solutions is known for being one of the industry’s top and trusted suppliers of cosmetic and viscosupplementation products. If you’re looking to buy Hyalgan online, contact our sales department for more information.

Introduction to Viscosupplementation

Hyalgan and Synvisc are hyaluronic acid-based osteoarthritis (OA) treatments that primarily affect the knee joint. These injections enhance joint lubrication, which is crucial for mitigating OA symptoms like stiffness and pain. While Synvisc is denser than Hyalgan, studies offer conflicting views on their comparative effectiveness. 

Though Synvisc is pricier and may offer better satisfaction after six months, both treatments effectively alleviate knee pain. Rare side effects make Hyalgan a trusted option alongside Synvisc. As these treatments exemplify, viscosupplementation restores joint fluidity akin to natural synovial fluid, enhancing mobility and reducing pain. 

Composition and Mechanism of Action

Hyalgan and Synvisc are made from different stuff that acts like your joint’s natural fluid. They get injected into the knee, helping it move smoothly and hurting less.

Understanding the composition and molecular structure of Hyalgan and Synvisc is pivotal for medical professionals deliberating viscosupplementation treatment options for osteoarthritis. Below is a concise comparison encapsulating these aspects.

CompositionHyaluronic acid derived from rooster combsHylan G-F 20, a cross-linked derivative of hyaluronic acid
Molecular StructureRelatively lower molecular weightHigher molecular weight viscosupplement
Mechanism of ActionImproves joint lubrication and reduces pain by supplementing the viscous properties of synovial fluidSimilar to Hyalgan but leverages its higher molecular weight for potentially longer-lasting effects

Efficacy and Safety Profiles

In a pivotal trial, two out of three patients receiving Hyalgan reported pain relief lasting up to 6 months, demonstrating its long-lasting efficacy. Additionally, repeat treatments over 30 months showed sustained pain reduction. 

As part of multimodal therapies for early knee osteoarthritis (OA), Hyalgan offers a viable option for patients who have not responded adequately to conservative nonpharmacologic therapy.

Synvisc (Hylan G-F 20), another HA-based viscosupplement, has demonstrated superiority in long-lasting pain relief compared to saline control and other treatments. Clinical trials have shown its effectiveness in treating OA knee pain, with comparable results to intra-articular corticosteroid injections. 

Repeated Synvisc injections are considered safer than corticosteroids, especially for patients with comorbidities. However, Hyalgan and Synvisc should be used cautiously, adhering to safety guidelines and individual patient considerations.

Comparison of Safety Profiles and Potential Side Effects

Exploring the safety profiles and potential side effects of Hyalgan and Synvisc gives us insight into these viscosupplementation treatments, which are crucial for managing knee osteoarthritis. Both treatments have stood the test of clinical evaluations yet come with distinct safety considerations. Here’s a concise summary presented in a table format:

TreatmentCommon Side EffectsRare but Serious Side Effects
HyalganPain at the injection site, swelling, warmthAllergic reactions, infection
SynviscPain at the injection site, joint swelling, headacheAllergic reactions, infection, pseudocyesis

Treatment Protocols

Figuring out how many shots you need is part of the plan with Hyalgan and Synvisc. Each treatment has its timeline for when your joints might feel better. The Hyalgan dosage should follow the guidelines for 3 to 5 weekly injections.

In contrast, Synvisc varies; some receive a single shot, others three injections over weeks. Doctors should consider factors like medical history and osteoarthritis severity when deciding. Understanding these aspects, including dosage instructions, aids in choosing Hyalgan or Synvisc.

Duration of Relief Provided

Hyalgan and Synvisc provide up to 6 months of pain relief for knee osteoarthritis. Individual responses vary, influencing treatment choice. Factors like duration of relief and patient need guide doctors in selecting the most suitable option, considering health history and previous treatment reactions.

Considerations for Selecting the Appropriate Treatment

Choosing the proper treatment between Hyalgan and Synvisc requires a deep look into patient-specific details. Both treatments aim to ease knee osteoarthritis pain but differ in molecular weight and patient outcomes.

  • Consider Pain Severity: Synvisc may benefit those with more severe pain due to its higher molecular weight.
  • Review Past Treatments: If a patient didn’t respond well to one hyaluronic acid-based treatment, consider an alternative like Synvisc.
  • Evaluate Cost Implications: Budget constraints might make Hyalgan a preferred choice over Synvisc or Orthovisc.
  • Look at the Desired Duration of Relief: Based on reported satisfaction at 6-month follow-ups, Synvisc may be preferred for longer-lasting relief.
  • Review History of Allergies: Some treatment components could trigger allergic reactions, so a thorough medical history review is necessary.
  • Discuss Lifestyle and Activity Levels: Patients’ activity levels may influence their preference for one treatment based on recovery times.
  • Consider Injection Regimen Convenience: Some patients may prefer single-injection regimens for reduced costs and fewer doctor visits.
  • Examine Potential Side Effects: Individual tolerance to side effects may influence treatment choice.

Medical History and Potential Contraindications for Each Treatment

Choosing the right viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis treatment means looking closely at medical history and potential contraindications. Here are key factors to keep in mind for Hyalgan and Synvisc.

  • Allergic Reactions: Patients with known allergies to bird proteins, feathers, or egg products should avoid Synvisc, which is derived from chicken combs. Hyalgan may be a safer option as it is not bird-derived.
  • Infection or Skin Diseases: Those with infections or skin diseases around the injection site should only receive treatment once the condition is fully resolved.
  • Pregnancy: While there’s limited data on the use of Hyalgan supartz or Synvisc during pregnancy, caution is advised. Discussing risks versus benefits with a healthcare provider is crucial.
  • Previous Reactions to Hyaluronate Injections: If patients have had adverse reactions to other hyaluronate-based treatments, they might experience similar issues with either Hyalgan or Synvisc.
  • Blood Clotting Disorders: Due to the injection process itself, individuals with bleeding or clotting disorders need thorough evaluation before undergoing treatment.


Hyalgan and Synvisc alleviate knee osteoarthritis pain and enhance mobility. Each has distinct features, such as Synvisc’s higher molecular weight. Personal factors and medical history influence their choices. Consult your doctor to determine the best fit for your condition and needs.


1. What’s the main difference between Hyalgan and Synvisc?

The primary distinction between Hyalgan and Synvisc is that Hyalgan is derived from rooster combs, while Synvisc is synthesized from a combination of chemicals.

2. Can I get these treatments for any joint pain?

These treatments are primarily indicated for knee arthritis and may not be suitable for other types of joint pain.

3. How long do these treatments last once I get them?

Following administration, Hyalgan may provide relief for approximately 6 months, whereas Synvisc has the potential to remain effective for up to a year.

4. Will getting Hyalgan or Synvisc hurt?

While discomfort may be experienced during the injection process, it is typically brief.

5. Do I need to take time off work after getting one of these injections?

After receiving either of these injections, most individuals can resume their regular activities without needing extended time off from work.


Hyalgan injection Uses, Side Effects & Warnings. Drugs.com. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/hyalgan-injection.html 

The Difference Between Synvisc and Hyalgan. Healthline. Published October 28, 2014. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/synvisc-vs-hyalgan 



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