ranibizumab (Intraocular route)
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody Fragment
Uses For ranibizumab
Ranibizumab is used to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disorder of the retina in the eye that causes blurring of vision or blindness. Ranibizumab works by changing the amount of blood that gets to the eye.
Ranibizumab is used to treat macular edema (swelling of the back of the eye) after retinal vein occlusion (a blood vessel in the eye is blocked). It is also used in diabetic patients who have diabetic macular edema (DME). Macular edema can cause loss of vision. ranibizumab is also used to treat diabetic retinopathy (eye problem caused by diabetes) in patients with DME.
ranibizumab is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before Using ranibizumab
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ranibizumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ranibizumab or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ranibizumab in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ranibizumab in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ranibizumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Eye infection or
- Infection around the eye—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Glaucoma—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper Use of ranibizumab
An eye doctor will give you ranibizumab as a shot into the eye.
ranibizumab is usually given once a month (about every 28 days). In some patients, it may be given once every 3 months after the first 4 injections.
Precautions While Using ranibizumab
Your eye doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few days after you receive ranibizumab.
Serious eye problems may occur with ranibizumab. Check with your eye doctor right away if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, or painful, or if you have a change in vision several days after you receive ranibizumab. Also, tell your eye doctor if you feel increased pressure in the eye.
ranibizumab may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. Check with your doctor right away if you are having pain in your chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves, difficulty with breathing, a severe, sudden headache, slurred speech, sudden, unexplained shortness of breath, sudden loss of coordination, sudden, severe weakness or numbness in your arm or leg, or vision changes.
ranibizumab Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- bloody eye
- blurred vision or loss of vision
- decreased vision or other changes in vision
- disturbed color perception
- double vision
- dry eye
- eye pain
- feeling of having something in the eye
- halos around lights
- night blindness
- overbright appearance of lights
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- red, sore eyes
- redness of the white part of the eyes or inside of the eyelids
- redness, swelling, or itching of the eyelid
- seeing flashes or sparks of light
- seeing floating spots before the eyes, or a veil or curtain appearing across part of vision
- sensitivity of the eye to light
- tearing of the eyes
- tunnel vision
- watering of the eyes
- Body aches or pain
- chest pain
- difficulty with breathing
- dry mouth
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- head congestion
- hoarseness, loss of voice, or other voice changes
- loss of consciousness
- muscle aches and pains
- nasal congestion
- pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
- painful blisters on the trunk of the body
- pale skin
- runny nose
- severe, sudden headache
- slurred speech
- sore throat
- sudden loss of coordination
- sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
- sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
- tightness in the chest
- trouble sleeping
- unexplained weight loss
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Back pain
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- difficulty with moving
- muscle stiffness
- swelling or redness in the joints
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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