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Fluocinolone ophthalmic implant

Generic Name: fluocinolone ophthalmic implant (FLOO oh SIN oh lone off THAL mik IM plant)
Brand Name: Iluvien, Retisert

Medically reviewed by on Nov 14, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is fluocinolone ophthalmic implant?

Fluocinolone ophthalmic (for the eye) implant is a steroid medicine that is used to treat diabetic macular edema, a build-up of fluid in the retina that is caused by leaking blood vessels.

Fluocinolone ophthalmic implant is also used to treat posterior uveitis, inflammation that affects the back of the eye.

This implant slowly releases fluocinolone into the eye over a period of approximately 30 months.

Fluocinolone ophthalmic implant may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use fluocinolone ophthalmic implant if you have glaucoma, or any type of infection in or around your eye (including herpes).

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to fluocinolone, or if you have:

  • glaucoma; or

  • any type of infection in or around your eye.

The use of fluocinolone ophthalmic implant may increase your risk of developing cataracts and eventually needing cataract surgery. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • glaucoma;

  • herpes simplex;

  • cataract surgery; or

  • a detached retina.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether the fluocinolone ophthalmic implant is harmful to an unborn baby if you receive the implant while you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during the 30 months after you receive the implant.

It is not known whether fluocinolone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is the fluocinolone ophthalmic implant put into place?

A healthcare provider will surgically place the implant in your eye. If both eyes will be treated, your implants will most likely be placed at two separate times, to decrease your risk of infection in both eyes at the same time.

Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help control the pressure inside your eyes. Increased pressure inside the eye (also called ocular hypertension) can damage the optic nerve and lead to permanent blindness.

Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

You may need to continue using these other medications for several weeks after receiving the fluocinolone ophthalmic implant, to avoid complications or further surgeries.

For 1 to 4 weeks after receiving the implant, you may have a temporary decrease in vision. Call your doctor if your vision does not return to normal with 4 weeks after your implant was put in place.

Your eyes will need to be checked on a regular basis.

Fluocinolone ophthalmic implant will not correct vision problems you had before receiving the implant, such as near-sightedness or far-sightedness.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since the fluocinolone ophthalmic implant is surgically put into place, you will not be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

Since the fluocinolone implant contains a specific amount of the medication, you are not likely to receive an overdose.

What should I avoid after receiving a fluocinolone ophthalmic implant?

Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.

Ask your doctor before wearing contact lenses after receiving the fluocinolone ophthalmic implant.

fluocinolone ophthalmic implant may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you.

Fluocinolone ophthalmic implant side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, problems with peripheral (side) vision;

  • eye redness, eye pain or swelling, seeing halos around lights;

  • bleeding, oozing, or crusting of your eyes;

  • flashes of light or "floaters" in your vision; or

  • cloudiness in your pupil or iris (colored part of your eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • mild eye redness or pain;

  • feeling like something is in your eye;

  • headache; or

  • your eyes may be more sensitive to light.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect fluocinolone ophthalmic implant?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

  • Your doctor can provide more information about fluocinolone ophthalmic implant.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.