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What is Zilretta?

Zilretta is a steroid medication with anti-inflammatory properties that may be injected into areas of the body such as the joints to relieve pain and swelling. It is fast-acting and more effective than oral anti-inflammatory medications, which can sometimes cause stomach upset.

Zilretta may be injected into the knee for the management of osteoarthritis pain. It is usually combined with a local anesthetic to enhance pain relief and administered as a single dose.


To perform the Zilretta injection, the skin over the joint is cleansed and numbed. You are adequately positioned to facilitate easy insertion of the needle. Some injections are performed under live X-ray or ultrasound imaging to help your doctor guide the needle to the precise location. You will probably feel pressure when the needle is inserted.

Following the injection of Zilretta, there is a small chance of infection. Immediately contact your doctor if you notice unusual bleeding or bruising or any signs of infection such as weakness, cold or flu symptoms, fever, diarrhea, skin sores, or frequent/recurring illness. You might be advised to limit your salt intake while receiving Zilretta.

Side Effects

Steroid injections may be associated with certain complications, especially with prolonged use. Contact 9-1-1 immediately, if you have trouble breathing or swelling in the face, tongue, throat or lips.

Other symptoms to watch for and report immediately include:

  • Increased pain or swelling, stiffness of the joint or fever.
  • Blurred vision or pain in the eye
  • Unusual mood changes or behavior changes
  • Shortness of breath, swelling or rapid weight gain
  • Stomach cramps, vomiting, bloody stools, diarrhea or rectal irritation
  • Sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side of the body
  • Severe headache and pounding in the neck or ears
  • Increased pressure inside the skull
  • Signs and symptoms of low adrenal gland hormones such as headache, tiredness, depression, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, cravings for salty foods and feeling light-headed.
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