Ranibizumab treats macular degeneration (eye disease). After the injection, you may experience temporary vision problems. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision has returned to normal.
Ranibizumab is a prescription medication for the treatment of people with wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD, a common eye disease associated with aging), macular edema, and myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). Ranibizumab is also used to treat diabetic retinopathy (DR) as well as treat diabetic macular edema (DME).
Ranibizumab belongs to a group of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) antagonists. It works by preventing new blood vessel growth and blood vessel leakage.
This medication comes in an injectable form to be given directly into the eye by a healthcare provider.
Common side effects of ranibizumab include eye redness and pain, and small specks in vision.
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Uses of Ranibizumab
Ranibizumab is a prescription medicine used to treat:
- wet age-related macular degeneration
- macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (blockage of veins that carry blood away from the retina)
- diabetic macular edema (swelling of the retina in patients with diabetes caused by leaking of fluid from blood vessels within the macula)
- diabetic retinopathy (DR)
- myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV)
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Ranibizumab Brand Names
Ranibizumab may be found in some form under the following brand names:
Ranibizumab Drug Class
Ranibizumab is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Ranibizumab
Serious side effects have occurred with ranibizumab injections. See "Drug Precautions" section.
The most common eye-related side effects are:
- increased redness in the white of the eye
- eye pain
- small specks in vision
- increased eye pressure
The most common non–eye-related side effects are:
- nose and throat infections
- lung/airway infections
- and nausea
This is not a complete list of ranibizumab side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Because ranibizumab is injected into the eye, only a very small amount of the drug reaches the bloodstream, making ranibizumab unlikely to interact with most medications. However, be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, especially if you have recently received verteporfin (Visudyne).
Serious side effects have occurred with ranibizumab injections including:
- serious infections inside the eye
- detached retinas
- inflammation inside the eye
- increased eye pressure
- uncommonly, some patients have had serious, sometimes fatal, problems related to blood clots, such as heart attacks or strokes
If your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, or painful, or if you have a change in vision, call or visit your eye doctor right away.
After receiving a ranibizumab injection you may experience temporary vision problems. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision has returned to normal.
Ranibizumab Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of ranibizumab there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving ranibizumab.
Before receiving ranibizumab, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you:
- have an infection in or around your eye(s)
- have had a blood clot or stroke
- are allergic to any medication, food, or dyes
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medications you take including prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Ranibizumab and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ranibizumab will harm your unborn baby.
Ranibizumab and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if ranibizumab is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
Ranibizumab comes as a liquid to be injected into the eye by a healthcare provider in a medical office, hospital, or clinic.
Before you receive a ranibizumab injection, your eye will be cleaned to prevent infection and numbed to reduce discomfort during the injection. You may feel pressure in your eye when the medication is injected. You should feel no pain.
After your injection, your doctor will need to examine your eyes before you leave the office.
You may receive a prescription for antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection after the procedure.
After receiving a ranibizumab injection, you may experience temporary vision problems. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision has returned to normal.
Ranibizumab comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected into the eye by a doctor. It is usually given in a doctor's office every month. Your doctor may give you injections on a different schedule if that is best for you.
- Although not as effective, patients may be treated with 3 monthly doses followed by less frequent dosing with a regular assessment.
- Although not as effective, patients may also be treated with one dose every 3 months after 4 monthly doses. Your doctor will assess you regularly.
Macular Edema Following Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO): The recommended dose of ranibizumab 0.5 mg (0.05 mL) injected into the eye once a month (approximately 28 days).
Myopic Choroidal Neovascularization (mCNV): The recommended dose of ranibizumab is 0.5 mg (0.05 mL) injected into the eye once a month (approximately 28 days) for up to three months. Patients may be retreated if needed.
Ranibizumab is usually administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting making it unlikely for an overdose to occur. However, if an overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
Keep all appointments with your healthcare provider for ranibizumab injections. This medication must be taken as prescribed to receive the most benefit.