GENERIC NAME: hyaluronic acid
BRAND NAME: Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Restylane is a gel of hyaluronic acid produced by bacteria and used for treating facial wrinkles and folds. It is classified as a medical device. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is normally produced by the body; it is what gives skin its volume and fullness. The hyaluronic acid in Restylane is called non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA) because it is not derived from animal sources. When Restylane is injected into wrinkled skin it adds fullness and reduces the prominence of the wrinkles in the previously wrinkled area. Hyaluronic acid also attracts and binds water, and this also helps maintain fullness in the area of injection. The benefit of hyaluronic acid may last for six months or longer. Restylane was approved by the FDA in December 2003.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Hyaluronic acid is used for the correction of moderate to severe wrinkles and folds (for example, naso-labial folds). It also is used for enhancing fullness of the lips (lip augmentation).
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of hyaluronic acid are reactions at the site of injection such as:
Vitamin E supplements, St. John's Wort, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve and Motrin may increase bruising or bleeding after injection of hyaluronic acid. Therefore, patients should stop these drugs at least one week before the injections.
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