How Do Intra-Articular Agents Work?

Reviewed on 9/21/2021

How do intra-articular agents work?

Intra-articular agents are medications that are injected into joints to relieve pain from arthritic conditions. Intra-articular agents are viscous substances that lubricate, cushion the joints, and reduce pain. Hyaluronic acid and its derivative products are used as intra-articular agents.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar molecule in the body that traps water to provide moisture and lubrication. Hyaluronic acid is present in the entire body and is in high concentration in the synovial fluid in the joints. Hyaluronic acid lubricates joints, acts as a lubricant in the eye fluids, and moistens and helps heal wounds on the skin.

Hyaluronic acid products used as intra-articular agents have purified extracts from animal tissue such as rooster combs, or manufactured in labs using bacteria like streptococcus which contain hyaluronic acid in their extracellular capsule.

How are intra-articular agents used?

Intra-articular agents are hyaluronic acid solutions that are injected into the knee joint to relieve pain from osteoarthritis, an age-related degenerative bone disease. Hyaluronic acid products are also approved for use during certain eye surgeries.

Other uses for hyaluronic acid include:

  • Intradermal injections in wound care
  • Aerosol administration for emphysema due to alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, an orphan designation


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow

What are side effects of intra-articular agents?

Side effects of intra-articular agents may include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some intra-articular drugs?

Generic and brand names of intra-articular drugs include:

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors