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The Side Effects of Supartz Injections

by
author image A.M. Tacon
A.M. Tacon is an associate professor of health at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include psychosocial factors in cancer, complementary therapies and stress reduction in individuals with cancer. Dr. Tacon runs mindfulness-based stress reduction programs for women with breast cancer, which is based on various forms of mindfulness meditation.
The Side Effects of Supartz Injections
Doctor injecting a patient in the knee Photo Credit ElMiguelacho/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Supartz is the brand name for hyaluronate sodium, an orthopedic prescription injection that primarily is used to treat osteoarthritic knee pain or other degenerative joint processes. According to MediLexicon.com, around 20 million Americans live with osteoarthritis and symptoms of discomfort; that is, this chronic disease produces frequent bouts of severe joint pain and inflammation. Supartz is a clear substance akin to naturally occurring lubricating synovial fluid in joints that acts as a trauma buffer and absorber for human joints. Mild common side effects may be experienced following an injection.

Injection Site Irritation

MediLexicon.com states that more than 100 million successful Supartz injections have been administered, and global medical technology business Smith & Nephew explains that the usual protocol is one injection given weekly for three to five weeks. Thus, injection reactions can be anticipated. A person may experience initial irritations such as tenderness, redness and swelling; this may last for several days, depending on the individual and the severity of osteoarthritis. The patient also may feel sensations of tingling or numbness. Elevating the leg as needed and applying appropriate heat and cold as directed by the physician may help to reduce tenderness or swelling. Additionally, using a cane can help to reduce full weight-bearing on the knee until these symptoms subside. If such side effects do not go away after a reasonable amount of time, contact the orthopedic physician’s office to determine if an evaluation is warranted.

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Multiple Pain Effects

This type of orthopedic therapy has the potential to produce various types of pain, which is another common experience in the body. According to Smith & Nephew, pain likely will manifest in the affected joint without inflammation or with inflamed signs of a red, hot and swollen knee. Additionally, mild headaches may be experienced. Lastly, another possible pain symptom associated with this orthopedic treatment is back pain; that is, vague or generalized pain that is not specific to a certain back region. If these side effects become worrisome or increase in severity, speak to a pharmacist or contact the doctor’s office about recommendations for over-the-counter analgesics to help reduce the various pain effects.

Stomach Upset and Diarrhea

Drugs.com lists nausea as another common side effect that a patient may experience with Supartz treatments. This usually manifests as feeling nauseous and tends to occur without vomiting. Understandably, nausea can lead to a temporary drop in appetite. MediLexicon and Drugs.com report that loose stools also may be associated with Supartz therapy in some patients. Also, stomach pain or cramping may occur with the diarrhea. Drinking plenty of water following an injection to counter this potential side effect is recommended. The physician should be contacted if these side effects do not dissipate within several days following the injection. This is important, especially, in the case of diarrhea, as this side effect can lead to dehydration from fluid loss.

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References

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