hyaluronic acid, Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is hyaluronic acid, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for hyaluronic acid?

Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane

Is hyaluronic acid available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for hyaluronic acid?

Yes

What are the side effects of hyaluronic acid?

The most common side effects of hyaluronic acid are reactions at the site of injection such as:

  • bruising,
  • redness,
  • pain,
  • itching,
  • tenderness, and
  • swelling.

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.

Post marketing adverse effects that have been reported include:

  • infection,
  • allergic
  • reactions,
  • necrosis (death of tissue), and
  • acne.

Quick GuideAnti-Aging Pictures: Get Rid of Wrinkles, Dark Circles, and More

Anti-Aging Pictures: Get Rid of Wrinkles, Dark Circles, and More
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors