What is this medication for?
Ranibizumab belongs to the class of medications called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. It is used to treat "wet," age-related macular degeneration, a condition where blood vessels behind the retina start to grow and leak blood and fluid. This causes damage to the macula (the center of the retina) and results in central vision loss that can occur quickly. Ranibizumab helps to slow down vision loss and may improve vision by stopping the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye.
Ranibizumab is also used to treat diabetic macular edema. It is a condition where blood vessels behind the retina starts to grow and leak blood and fluid. This can damage the macula, which can lead to blurry vision.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Lucentis® is available as:
- intravitreal injection
- 10 mg per mL solution in single-use vial
- 6 mg per mL solution in single-use vial
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
This medication is given by injection into the eye by your doctor (usually an eye doctor) under a local anesthetic.
The usual dose of ranibizumab for wet age- related macular degeneration is 0.5 mg injected into the eye once a month. Although less effective, injections may be given every 3 months after the first 4 injections if monthly injections are not feasible. Although less effective injections may also be given less frequently after 3 monthly injections. Your doctor will ask you to use antibiotic eye drops for a few days before and after each injection.
The usual dose of ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema is 0.3 mg injected into the eye once a month.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to receive this medication exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive ranibizumab, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
This medication is stored in the refrigerator and should not be allowed to freeze. Protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to ranibizumab or any ingredients of this medication
- have or are suspected to have an infection in or around the eye