Fluocinolone Acetonide eent
Chemical Name: (6α,11β,16α) - 6,9 - Difluoro - 11,21 - dihydroxy - 16,17 - [(1 - methylethylidene)bis(oxy)] - pregna - 1,4 - diene - 3,20 - dione
Molecular Formula: C24H30F2O6
Synthetic fluorinated corticosteroid.1
Uses for Fluocinolone Acetonide
Fluocinolone Acetonide Dosage and Administration
Surgically implant intravitreally through a pars plana incision into posterior segment of eye.1
Handle implants only by the suture tab to avoid damaging the implant; damage may increase rate of drug release.1
Avoid simultaneous implantation into both eyes in order to minimize risk of bilateral postoperative infections.1
Following depletion of fluocinolone acetonide from the implant, may remove the implant and replace with a new one to continue therapy.1
During implantation and explantation, avoid applying sheer forces on the implant that could disengage the silicone cup reservoir from the suture tab.1
Available as fluocinolone acetonide; dosage expressed in terms of the salt.1
Cautions for Fluocinolone Acetonide
Viral diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva (e.g., epithelial herpes simplex keratitis [dendritic keratitis], vaccinia, varicella).1
Mycobacterial infection of the eye.1
Fungal diseases of ocular structures.1
Known or suspected hypersensitivity to fluocinolone acetonide, other corticosteroids, or any ingredient in the formulation.1
Potential complications accompanying insertion of the implant may include cataract formation, choroidal or retinal detachment, temporary decrease in visual acuity, endophthalmitis, hypotony, increased intraocular pressure (IOP), exacerbation of intraocular inflammation, vitreous hemorrhage, vitreous loss, and wound dehiscence.1
Immediate and temporary decrease in visual acuity in the implanted eye will occur in most patients and may persist for 1–4 weeks after implantation.1
Increased Intraocular Pressure
Risk of glaucoma with prolonged use of corticosteroids; monitor periodically for elevated IOP (e.g., every 3–6 months, more frequently in immediate postimplantation period).1 3 Use with caution in the presence of glaucoma.1
Approximately 60% of patients expected to require drug therapy to reduce IOP within 34 weeks after implantation.1 Within 2 years of implantation, 32% of patients expected to require filtering procedures for IOP control.1
In acute purulent conditions, corticosteroids may mask or enhance existing infections.1
Wound Healing Complications
Use of ophthalmic corticosteroids after cataract surgery may delay healing and increase bleb formation.1
Proper Handling of Implants
Exercise caution in order to maintain sterility of and avoid damage to the implant.1 (See Administration under Dosage and Administration.)
Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other adverse effects.
Safety and efficacy not established in children <12 years of age.1
No substantial differences in safety and efficacy relative to younger adults.1
Common Adverse Effects
Cataracts, increased IOP, ocular pain, and surgical complications (e.g., cataract fragments in the eye, injury, mechanical complications, migration or expulsion of implant; wound complications or wound dehiscence) reported in 50–90% of patients.1
Reduced visual acuity, conjunctival hemorrhage or hyperemia, glaucoma, blurred vision, abnormal sensation in the eye, ocular irritation or inflammation, hypotony, pruritus, vitreous floaters or hemorrhage, ptosis, maculopathy, eyelid edema, increased tearing, and dry eye reported in 10–35% of patients.1
Headache was most frequent systemic effect.1
Interactions for Fluocinolone Acetonide
Fluocinolone Acetonide Pharmacokinetics
Implant is designed to release fluocinolone acetonide locally to the posterior segment of the eye at a nominal initial rate of 0.6 mcg daily, decreasing over the first month to steady state of 0.3–0.4 mcg daily for approximately 30 months.1
Concentrations of the drug in aqueous and vitreous humor highly variable 1
Limited systemic exposure following intravitreal implantation; plasma concentrations are usually undetectable.1
15–25°C. Protect from freezing.1
Corticosteroids inhibit edema, fibrin deposition, capillary dilation, leukocyte migration, capillary and fibroblast proliferation, deposition of collagen, and scar formation associated with inflammation.1
Mechanism of ocular effects is unknown.1 Corticosteroids may induce phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins; these proteins may inhibit release of arachidonic acid, thus controlling biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation (e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes).1
Advice to Patients
Importance of informing patients that fluocinolone acetonide treats ocular inflammation only and does not treat underlying disease.1
Importance of advising patients to return to clinician’s office for follow-up ophthalmologic examinations of both eyes at appropriate intervals following insertion of the implant.1
Importance of explaining risks of surgical complications, adverse ocular effects, and ocular infections.1
Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.1
Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as any concomitant illnesses, especially glaucoma or existing bacterial, viral, or fungal infections of the eye.1
Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.1 (See Cautions.)
Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.
Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.
Bausch & Lomb
AHFS DI Essentials. © Copyright, 2016, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
Date published: June 01, 2006
Last reviewed: June 01, 2006
Date modified: February 08, 2016
1. Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. Retisert (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant) 0.59 mg prescribing information. Rochester, NY; 2005 Apr.
2. Bausch & Lomb. Retisert (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant) 0.59 mg formulary kit. Tampa, FL; 2005 May.
3. Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY: Personal communication.
4. Food and Drug Administration. Orphan designation pursuant to Section 526 of the Federal Food and Cosmetic Act as amended by the Orphan Drug Act (P.L. 97-414). Rockville, MD. From FDA website ().