ranibizumab (ophthalmic)

Pronunciation: ra NIB i ZUE mab off THAL mik

Brand: Lucentis

What is the most important information I should know about ranibizumab?

You should not receive ranibizumab if you are allergic to it, or if you have any type of infection in or around your eyes.

Call your doctor at once if you have sudden vision problems, eye pain or redness, or if your eyes are more sensitive to light.

The timing of your monthly injections is very important for this medication to be effective.

What is ranibizumab?

Ranibizumab is made from a human antibody fragment. It works by keeping new blood vessels from forming under the retina (a sensory membrane that lines the inside of the eye). In people with certain types of eye disorders, new blood vessels grow under the retina where they leak blood and fluid.

Ranibizumab ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat the "wet form" of age-related macular degeneration. Ranibizumab is also used to treat swelling in the retina caused by diabetes or by a blockage in the blood vessels.

Ranibizumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ranibizumab?

You should not receive ranibizumab if you are allergic to it, or if you have any type of infection in or around your eyes.

To make sure ranibizumab is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma; or
  • a history of blood clots or stroke.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether ranibizumab passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How is ranibizumab given?

Ranibizumab is given as an injection into your eye. Your doctor will use a medicine to numb your eye before giving you the injection. You will receive this injection in your doctor's office or other clinic setting.

For a short time after your injection, your eyes will be checked periodically to make sure the injection has not caused any side effects.

Ranibizumab is usually given once every month.

For people with macular degeneration: After you have received the first 3 or 4 injections, your doctor may change your injection schedule to once every 3 months.

Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. The timing of your monthly injections is very important for this medication to be effective.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your eyes will need to be checked on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment to receive your ranibizumab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving ranibizumab?

This medication may cause blurred vision. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

What are the possible side effects of ranibizumab?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • eye pain or redness, swelling around your eyes;
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • discharge or bleeding from the eye;
  • seeing flashes of light or "floaters" in your vision;
  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body); or
  • sudden severe headache, problems with speech or balance.

Common side effects may include:

  • eye pain or irritation;
  • feeling like something is in your eye;
  • itchy or watery eyes;
  • dry eyes, puffy eyelids;
  • blurred vision;
  • sinus pain, sore throat, cough; or
  • nausea.

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 ranibizumab?

Other drugs may interact with ranibizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about ranibizumab ophthalmic.

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