Published on August 13th, 2012 | by Mark Erickson
Lucentis treatment for eye disease
Lucentis eye injection for macular degeneration and other eye diseases
Lucentis is used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema - leading causes of vision loss.
There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. In the “wet” form of AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye. Sometimes these vessels leak blood or fluid that causes blurred or distorted vision. Without treatment, vision loss may be quick and severe.
Lucentis eye injection for macular degeneration
Lucentis works by inhibiting the growth of the abnormal blood vessels that cause AMD. It is also used to treat swelling of the macula due to AMD. The goal of treatment is to prevent further loss of vision. Although some patients have regained vision, the medication may not restore vision that has already been lost, and may not ultimately prevent further loss of vision caused by the disease.
How is Lucentis eye injection put in?
After the pupil is dilated and the eye is numbed with anesthesia, the medication is injected into the vitreous, or jelly-like substance in the back chamber of the eye. Lucentis is administered by an injection into your eye as needed at regular intervals (about every four or five weeks) – your ophthalmologist will tell you how often you will need to receive the injection.
You do not have to receive treatment for your condition, although without treatment, AMD can lead to further vision loss and blindness, sometimes very quickly. Other forms of treatment are available. At present, there are two other FDA-approved treatments for neovascular AMD: photodynamic therapy with a drug called Visudyne and injection into the eye with other drugs called anti-VEGFs: Avastin, Eylea and Macugen. Although all of these treatments have been proven to slow down the rate of visual loss, patients do not get back better vision.
In addition to the FDA-approved medications, some ophthalmologists use other medications that were not specifically approved for use in the treatment of AMD, but which have shown some benefit. One of the medications used this way is intravitreal Kenalog.
New Lucentis vs. Stroke Information
The interim Lucentis study data showed that Lucentis use in stroke patients may lead to an increased risk of stroke.
However, once the final study was complete, results showed that there was no associated risk of stroke in patients getting Lucentis treatment.
A small number of patients (less than 4%) experienced blood clots (arterial thromboembolic events such as heart attack or stroke) after administration of Lucentis and others had high blood pressure. There is no evidence that Lucentis caused these complications. Whenever a medication is used in a large number of patients, a small number of coincidental life-threatening problems may occur that have no relationship to the treatment. For example, patients with diabetes are already at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. If one of these patients being treated with Lucentis suffers a heart attack or stroke, it may be caused by the diabetes and not the Lucentis treatment.
Risks of intravitreal eye infections
Your condition may not get better or may become worse. Any or all of the following complications may cause decreased vision and/or have a possibility of causing blindness. Additional procedures may be needed to treat these complications. During the follow up visits or phone calls, you will be checked for possible side effects and the results will be discussed with you.
Possible complications of the procedure and administration of Lucentis include but are not limited to retinal detachment, cataract formation (clouding of the lens of the eye), glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), hypotony (reduced pressure in the eye), damage to the retina or cornea (structures of the eye), and bleeding. There is also the possibility of an eye infection (endophthalmitis). You may receive eye drops with instructions on when to use them to reduce the possibility of this occurring. Any of these rare complications may lead to severe, permanent loss of vision. Side effects may include eye pain, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bloodshot eye), vitreous floaters, irregularity or swelling of the cornea, inflammation of the eye, and visual disturbances such as small specks in the vision.
Most of this page's information provided by: Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company