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Fluocinolone ophthalmic Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects of fluocinolone ophthalmic include decreased visual acuity, increased intraocular pressure, and glaucoma. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to fluocinolone ophthalmic: intraocular implant

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by fluocinolone ophthalmic. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking fluocinolone ophthalmic, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common
  • Blindness
  • bloody eye
  • blurred vision
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • change in color vision
  • decreased vision
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • discharge or excessive tearing
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining 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

Some of the side effects that can occur with fluocinolone ophthalmic may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common
  • Feeling of having something in the eye

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to fluocinolone ophthalmic: intravitreal implant


Clinical trials have reported nearly all phakic eyes may develop cataracts and require cataract surgery within an average of 2 years following intravitreal implantation of fluocinolone.

Based on clinical trials, the manufacturer reports within 3 years post implantation, approximately 77% of patients will require IOP lowering medications to control intraocular pressure and 37% of patients will require filtering procedures to control intraocular pressure.[Ref]

Ocular side effects associated with fluocinolone intravitreal implant have frequently included cataract, increased intraocular pressure, procedural complication, and eye pain reported in 50% to 90% of patients. Procedural complications have included cataract fragments in the eye postoperatively, implant expulsion, injury, mechanical complication of implant, migration of implant, postoperative complications, postoperative wound complications, and wound dehiscence. Reduced visual acuity, conjunctival hemorrhage, conjunctival hyperemia, glaucoma, blurred vision, abnormal sensation in the eye, eye irritation, hypotony, pruritus, vitreous floaters, maculopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, ptosis, eye inflammation, eyelid edema, increased tearing, and dry eye have been reported in 10% to 35% of patients. Macular edema, visual disturbance, eye discharge, conjunctival edema/chemosis, photophobia, blepharitis, corneal edema, photopsia, retinal hemorrhage, choroidal detachment, vitreous opacities, and eye swelling have been reported in 5% to 9% of patients.

Ocular side effects associated with ophthalmic administration of corticosteroids have included elevated intraocular pressure, glaucoma, optic nerve damage, visual acuity and field defects, posterior subcapsular cataract formation, delayed wound healing, ocular infection, and perforation of the globe (around area of thinning sclera).

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may result in elevated IOP and/or glaucoma with damage to the optic nerve, defects in visual acuity and fields of vision.[Ref]


Other side effects have included headache in 31% of patients. Influenza, limb pain, back pain, and pain have also been reported.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, cough, and upper respiratory tract infection.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included dizziness.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea and vomiting.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included rash.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Retisert (fluocinolone ophthalmic)." Bausch and Lomb, Rochester, NY.

Not all side effects for fluocinolone ophthalmic may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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