Lucentis is a brand-name prescription medication that’s used to treat certain eye disorders.

Lucentis contains the active drug ranibizumab, which belongs to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs).

Lucentis comes as either a prefilled syringe or as a liquid solution in a vial. Both forms deliver a dose of either 0.3 mg or 0.5 mg of the drug in 0.05 mL of solution. Lucentis is injected directly into the eye.

You’ll get Lucentis injections at your ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s office every 4 to 12 weeks. Your dosage schedule will depend on the condition you’re using Lucentis to treat and how well your body responds to the drug.

What it does

Lucentis is FDA-approved to treat the following eye conditions in adults:

  • Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a serious type of AMD that can lead to severe vision loss. With wet AMD, new blood vessels develop under the macula, which causes fluid and blood to leak. (The macula is an area in the center of the retina, a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.)
  • Macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO). With RVO, a blood clot blocks the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye, causing blood and fluid to leak into the macula. This can cause macular edema (a buildup of fluid in this part of the eye), which can lead to vision problems if not treated.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a complication of diabetes. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness if not treated.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME). When diabetic retinopathy causes a buildup of fluid in the macula area of the retina, it’s called DME. This condition can cause vision problems if not treated.
  • Myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). This is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness if not treated. mCNV is caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow in the back of the eye. It can occur in people with severe myopia (trouble seeing things far away).

Effectiveness

For information about Lucentis’s effectiveness, see the “Lucentis uses” section.

Lucentis is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics also tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Lucentis contains the active drug ranibizumab.

Lucentis can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Lucentis. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Lucentis, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs they have approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Lucentis, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Lucentis can include:*

  • bleeding of the conjunctiva (tissue that covers the white of the eye)
  • eye pain or irritation
  • seeing floaters

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Lucentis. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or see the drug’s package instructions.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Lucentis aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects* and their symptoms can include:

  • Endophthalmitis (swelling inside the eye caused by infection). Symptoms can include:
    • swollen eyelids
    • eyes that look red or cloudy
    • blurry vision
    • eye pain
    • discomfort looking at bright lights
  • Increased pressure inside the eye. Your doctor will measure the pressure in your eye before and after each Lucentis injection.

* For people with diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy, there may be a very slight increase in the risk of death with use of Lucentis. It’s not known for sure if Lucentis causes this increased risk. For more information, please see “Lucentis precautions” below.

Other serious side effect are explained below in “Side effect details.” These include:

  • allergic reaction
  • blood clots, which may lead to heart problems and stroke
  • severe eye problems, including retinal detachment

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here’s some detail on several of the side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Lucentis. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • redness in the eyes
  • itchiness in the eyes
  • reduced vision

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • severe swelling in the eyes
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Lucentis. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Heart problems and stroke

The use of anti-VEGF drugs, including Lucentis, has been associated with a raised risk of developing blood clots that can lead to heart attack, stroke, or death due to heart problems. Collectively, these conditions are called arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs).

In clinical studies, the ATE rate varied based on the eye disorder that was being treated. In 2-year clinical studies of people with wet AMD, 1.9% of people taking Lucentis experienced an ATE in the first year. In comparison, 1.1% of people taking either a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) or verteporfin (Visudyne), a kind of photodynamic therapy, experienced an ATE. (Photodynamic therapy is a treatment that combines medication and light from a laser to close off blood vessels in your eye.)

After 2 years, the ATE rate was similar between the two groups. Of the people taking Lucentis, 2.6% experienced an ATE during the second year. In comparison, 2.9% of those taking either a placebo or verteporfin experienced an ATE during the second year of the study.

When the results from three clinical studies were combined, 2.7% of people who took Lucentis for wet AMD experienced a stroke during the 2-year treatment. In comparison, 1.1% of people taking either a placebo or verteporfin had a stroke.

Call your doctor right away if you experience any shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, or numbness on one side of your body during your Lucentis treatment. This could be a sign of a heart problem or stroke.

Severe eye problems, including retinal detachment

Medications that are injected into the eye (including Lucentis) have been associated with an increased risk of a detached retina. With this serious condition, part of the retina (tissue in the back of your eye) pulls away from the blood vessels attached to it. In clinical studies, retinal detachment occurred in less than 0.1% of people who received Lucentis.

Symptoms of a detached retina can include:

  • the sudden appearance of many floaters
  • flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • blurry vision
  • reduced peripheral vision
  • feeling like there’s a curtain or shadow over your eye

Call your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms. They could be a sign of retinal detachment, which is an emergency situation that requires immediate action.

Changes in blood pressure (not a side effect)

Lucentis is not likely to cause changes in blood pressure. Lucentis belongs to a class of drugs called anti-VEGFs. Increases in blood pressure have been reported with other anti-VEGF drugs when used in much higher doses, and when injected directly into the bloodstream. Lucentis is injected directly into the eye in a very small dose, so it shouldn’t affect your blood pressure.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Lucentis, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed below are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Alternatives for wet age-related macular degeneration

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • aflibercept (Eylea)
  • brolucizumab (Beovu)

Alternatives for diabetic retinopathy

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat diabetic retinopathy include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • aflibercept (Eylea)
  • triamcinolone acetonide (Triesence)

Alternatives for diabetic macular edema

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat diabetic macular edema (DME) include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • aflibercept (Eylea)
  • triamcinolone acetonide (Triesence)

Alternatives for macular edema after retinal vein occlusion

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO) include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • aflibercept (Eylea)

Alternatives for myopic choroidal neovascularization

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV) include:

  • bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • aflibercept (Eylea)

Lucentis and Avastin are both used to treat certain eye conditions. Lucentis is FDA-approved to treat these conditions, while Avastin is used off-label to treat them. (Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.)

Here we look at how Lucentis and Avastin are alike and different.

Ingredients

Both Lucentis and Avastin contain medications that belong to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs). Lucentis contains ranibizumab, and Avastin contains bevacizumab.

Uses

Lucentis is FDA-approved to treat the following eye conditions in adults:

  • Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a serious type of AMD that can lead to severe vision loss. With wet AMD, new blood vessels develop under the macula, which causes fluid and blood to leak. (The macula is an area in the center of the retina, a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.)
  • Macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO). With RVO, a blood clot blocks the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye, causing blood and fluid to leak into the macula. This can cause macular edema (a buildup of fluid in this part of the eye), which can lead to vision problems if not treated.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a complication of diabetes. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness if not treated.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME). When diabetic retinopathy causes a buildup of fluid in the macula area of the retina, it’s called DME. This condition can cause vision problems if not treated.
  • Myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). This is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness if not treated. mCNV is caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow in the back of the eye. It can occur in people with severe myopia (trouble seeing things far away).

Avastin is FDA-approved to treat certain kinds of cancer. This includes cancer that affects the colon and rectum, lungs, brain, kidneys, stomach lining, or the female reproductive system.

In addition, Avastin is often used off-label to treat various eye conditions, including wet AMD, macular edema after RVO, and DME.

Drug forms and administration

Lucentis comes as either a prefilled syringe or as a liquid solution in a vial. Lucentis is injected directly into the eye by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Avastin comes as a liquid solution in a vial. When used off-label for eye conditions, Avastin is injected directly into the eye by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Side effects and risks

Lucentis and Avastin both contain drugs that belong to the class of medications called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs). Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects.

However, the side effects of these drugs are difficult to compare. This is because Lucentis is FDA-approved to treat certain eye conditions, while Avastin is not. Because Avastin is used off-label to treat these same eye conditions, side effects for those uses have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Effectiveness

Lucentis and Avastin are both used to treat certain eye conditions, including wet AMD, macular edema after RVO, and DME. Lucentis is FDA-approved to treat these conditions, while Avastin is used off-label to treat them.

The use of Lucentis and Avastin in treating wet AMD has been directly compared in a clinical study. After 1 year of treatment, adults taking either Lucentis or Avastin saw improvements in their vision. Researchers concluded that the two medications were equally effective for treating wet AMD.

Costs

Lucentis and Avastin are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Lucentis is significantly more expensive than Avastin. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

You may wonder how Lucentis compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Lucentis and Eylea are alike and different.

Ingredients

Both Lucentis and Eylea contain medications that belong to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs). Lucentis contains ranibizumab, and Eylea contains aflibercept.

Uses

Lucentis and Eylea are both FDA-approved to treat the following eye conditions in adults:

  • Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a serious type of AMD that can lead to severe vision loss. With wet AMD, new blood vessels develop under the macula, which causes fluid and blood to leak. (The macula is an area in the center of the retina, a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.)
  • Macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO). With RVO, a blood clot blocks the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye, causing blood and fluid to leak into the macula. This can cause macular edema (a buildup of fluid in this part of the eye), which can lead to vision problems if not treated.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a complication of diabetes. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness if not treated.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME). When diabetic retinopathy causes a buildup of fluid in the macula area of the retina, it’s called DME. This condition can cause vision problems if not treated.

Lucentis is also FDA-approved to treat:

  • Myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV) in adults. This is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness if not treated. mCNV is caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow in the back of the eye. It can occur in people with severe myopia (trouble seeing things far away).

Drug forms and administration

Both Lucentis and Eylea come as either a prefilled syringe or as a liquid solution in a vial. They are both injected directly into the eye by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Side effects and risks

Lucentis and Eylea both contain drugs that belong to the class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs). Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain examples of mild side effects that can occur with Eylea or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Eylea:
    • vitreous detachment, an eye condition that causes eye floaters
  • Can occur with both drugs:
    • bleeding of the conjunctiva (tissue that covers the white of the eye)
    • eye pain or irritation
    • seeing floaters

Serious side effects

Examples of serious side effects that can occur with both Lucentis and Eylea (when taken individually) include:

  • allergic reaction
  • increased pressure in the eye
  • endophthalmitis (swelling inside the eye caused by infection)
  • blood clots, which may lead to heart problems and stroke
  • severe eye problems, including retinal detachment

Effectiveness

Lucentis and Eylea have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat the following conditions:

  • neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO)
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • diabetic macular edema (DME)

The use of Lucentis and Eylea in treating wet AMD has been directly compared in two 1-year clinical studies. Eylea was given either every 4 or 8 weeks, and Lucentis was given every 4 weeks.

By the end of the study, Lucentis and Eylea preserved people’s vision (kept it from getting worse) in 94% to 95% of those taking either drug. They also both helped improve vision in some people. Of those taking Lucentis, 31% to 34% had improved vision after 1 year, compared with 29% to 38% of people taking Eylea.

Costs

Lucentis and Eylea are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Lucentis and Eylea generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

The Lucentis dosage and injection frequency your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Lucentis to treat
  • how well you respond to treatment with Lucentis

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, yourdoctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Lucentis comes as either a prefilled syringe or as a liquid solution in a vial. Both forms deliver a dose of either 0.3 mg or 0.5 mg of the drug in 0.05 mL of solution. Lucentis is injected directly into the eye.

You’ll get Lucentis injections at your ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s office every 4 to 12 weeks. Your dosage schedule will depend on the condition you’re using Lucentis to treat and how well you respond to the drug.

Dosage for wet age-related macular degeneration

For neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the usual dosage is 0.5 mg of Lucentis in 0.05 mL of liquid solution every 4 weeks.

In some cases, your doctor may want to change your dosage so that you only get an injection once every 2 or 3 months. However, Lucentis has been found to be less effective in treating wet AMD when taken this way. Talk with your doctor about which dosage schedule is best for you.

Dosage for diabetic retinopathy

For diabetic retinopathy, the typical dosage is 0.3 mg of Lucentis in 0.05 mL of liquid solution every 4 weeks.

Dosage for diabetic macular edema

The usual dosage for people with diabetic macular edema (DME) is 0.3 mg of Lucentis in 0.05 mL of liquid solution every 4 weeks.

Dosage for macular edema after retinal vein occlusion

For macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO), the typical dosage is 0.5 mg of Lucentis in 0.05 mL of liquid solution every 4 weeks.

Dosage for myopic choroidal neovascularization

The usual dosage for people with myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV ) is 0.5 mg of Lucentis in 0.05 mL of liquid solution every 4 weeks for up to 3 months.

What if I miss a dose?

Lucentis is given as an injection by your ophthalmologist or optometrist. Their office will work with you to make sure the injection appointments fit your schedule.

To help make sure you don’t miss an appointment, try setting a reminder on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

You’ll likely take Lucentis long term if you’re using it to treat wet AMD, macular edema after RVO, DME, or diabetic retinopathy. These are conditions that tend to get worse as you age, so they require long-term treatment.

If you’re using Lucentis for mCNV, it’s typically recommended that you only use it for up to 3 months. Some people with mCNV may take Lucentis for longer than 3 months, if their doctor recommends it.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Lucentis to treat certain conditions. Lucentis may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Lucentis for wet age-related macular degeneration

Lucentis is approved to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD is a serious type of AMD that can lead to serious vision loss. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels form under the macula, which causes fluid and blood to leak. (The macula is an area in the center of the retina, a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.)

In order for these new blood vessels to grow, they require a compound that your body naturally produces called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Lucentis attaches to VEGF and prevents it from creating new blood vessels. This results in less fluid buildup and improved vision over time.

Effectiveness for wet age-related macular degeneration

Lucentis was studied in three clinical trials for the treatment of wet AMD. One study compared Lucentis with photodynamic therapy (a treatment that combines medication and light from a laser to close off blood vessels in your eye). Adults with wet AMD received either 0.5 mg of Lucentis or photodynamic therapy. Over the course of 2 years, Lucentis injections were given once per month, and photodynamic therapy was given once every 3 months.

At the end of the 2-year study, Lucentis had preserved people’s vision (kept it from getting worse) in 93% of those who took it. In comparison, photodynamic therapy preserved vision in 65% of people taking it. Of the people who received Lucentis, 37% had their vision improve during the study, compared with 9% of those who received photodynamic therapy.

One study compared the monthly injections of Lucentis to less frequent injections in people with wet AMD. For the first 3 months of the study, everyone received 0.5 mg of Lucentis once a month. After that, half of the people received injections every month, and half received injections less frequently (about every 2 to 3 months). After 2 years, Lucentis was found to be more effective at treating wet AMD when taken once a month compared with taking it less frequently.

Lucentis for diabetic retinopathy

Lucentis is approved to treat diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication of diabetes. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar.

When blood sugar levels are too high for a long time, certain chemicals get off balance in your body. One of the places this can happen is in your eyes. This chemical imbalance leads to your body overproducing a compound called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

VEGF helps to grow new blood vessels, but sometimes these new vessels are abnormal. This leads to fluid buildup in the retina (a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye).

Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision problems, including blindness, if not treated. Lucentis works by attaching to VEGF and preventing it from creating new blood vessels. This results in less fluid buildup and improved vision over time.

Effectiveness for diabetic retinopathy

In clinical trials, Lucentis was studied in people with diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME). Lucentis lessened the severity of diabetic retinopathy in 9% to 39% of people taking it. In comparison, 0% to 7% of people who took a placebo had less severe diabetic retinopathy.

Lucentis for diabetic macular edema

Lucentis is approved to treat diabetic macular edema (DME). When diabetic retinopathy causes a buildup of fluid in the macula area of the retina, it’s called DME. (See the section above for more information on diabetic retinopathy.) DME can cause vision problems if not treated.

As with diabetic retinopathy, Lucentis treats DME by preventing the growth of new blood vessels that cause fluid to build up in the eye.

Effectiveness for diabetic macular edema

In two clinical trials, Lucentis was studied in adults with diabetic retinopathy and DME. They received Lucentis injections once a month for 2 years. At the end of the studies, 34% to 45% of people taking Lucentis had improved vision. In comparison, 12% to 18% of people taking a placebo had improved vision.

Lucentis for macular edema after retinal vein occlusion

Lucentis is approved to treat macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO). With RVO, a blood clot blocks the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye, causing blood and fluid to leak into the macula. (The macula is an area in the center of the retina, a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.) This blockage can cause macular edema (a buildup of fluid in the macula), which can lead to vision problems if not treated.

As with diabetic retinopathy and DME (explained in the sections above), Lucentis treats macular edema after RVO by preventing the growth of new blood vessels that cause fluid to build up in the eye.

Effectiveness for macular edema after retinal vein occlusion

In two clinical trials, Lucentis was studied as a treatment for macular edema after RVO. After 6 months of receiving Lucentis, 48% to 61% of people had improved vision. In comparison, 17% to 29% of people who took a placebo had improved vision.

Lucentis for myopic choroidal neovascularization

Lucentis is also approved to treat myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). This is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness if not treated. mCNV is caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow in the back of the eye. It can occur in people with severe myopia (trouble seeing things far away). Symptoms of mCNV can include blurred or reduced vision, and seeing either wavy lines or a black, gray, or blank spot in the center or line of vision.

For the abnormal blood vessels to grow, they need a compound that your body naturally produces called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Lucentis attaches to VEGF and prevents it from creating new blood vessels. This results in less fluid buildup and improved vision over time.

Effectiveness for myopic choroidal neovascularization

In 3-month clinical trials involving people with mCNV, Lucentis was compared with photodynamic therapy. Of those who took Lucentis, 37.1% to 40.5% had improved vision. In comparison, 14.5% of people who received photodynamic therapy had improved vision.

Lucentis comes as either a prefilled syringe or as a liquid solution in a vial. It’s given as an injection in your ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s office.

When to take

You’ll get a Lucentis injection every 4 to 12 weeks. Your dosage schedule will depend on the condition Lucentis is being used to treat and how well you respond to the drug.

To help make sure you don’t miss an injection appointment, try setting a reminder on your phone.

Certain eye conditions occur because of an overgrowth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina (a thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye.) These result in a buildup of fluid, which can lead to vision problems, including blindness, if not treated.

In order to grow, these abnormal blood vessels need a compound called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which your body naturally produces.

Lucentis contains the active drug ranibizumab, which belongs to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (anti-VEGFs). Lucentis works by attaching to VEGF, which prevents it from creating more blood vessels. This results in less fluid buildup and improved vision over time.

How long does it take to work?

How long Lucentis takes to work depends on the condition it’s being used to treat and how severe your condition is. For some people, it can take as little as 7 days to have less fluid buildup in their retina and better vision. However, it may take longer for some people to have noticeable improvements in their vision.

There are no known interactions between Lucentis and alcohol. If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor how much is safe to drink while taking Lucentis.

Lucentis is not known to interact with any other medications or with any supplements or foods.

However, talk with your doctor and pharmacist before taking Lucentis. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

As with all medications, the cost of Lucentis can vary. To find current prices for Lucentis in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

In most instances, your doctor will order Lucentis directly and stock it in their office. However, sometimes you may have to get Lucentis at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Your insurance plan may require you to get prior authorization before they approve coverage for Lucentis. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the request and let you and your doctor know if your plan will cover Lucentis.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Lucentis, contact your insurance plan.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Lucentis, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Genentech, the manufacturer of Lucentis, offers programs that may help lower the cost of Lucentis. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 877-436-3683 or visit the program website.

It’s unknown if Lucentis is safe to take during pregnancy, as it has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies with pregnant monkeys have shown that high doses of Lucentis can result in the fetus having problems with bone growth.

It’s not known if Lucentis can affect your ability to conceive a child. However, based on the way the drug works, it’s possible that Lucentis could affect your fertility.

If you or your partner are planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before starting Lucentis.

It’s not known if Lucentis is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Lucentis.

It’s not known if Lucentis is safe to take while breastfeeding, as it has not been studied in breastfeeding women.

If you want to breastfeed while taking Lucentis, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Lucentis.

Can I use eyedrops if I’m using Lucentis?

Yes, you can use certain eyedrops during your Lucentis treatment. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops after the injection to prevent an eye infection.

For a few days after your Lucentis injection, your eyes may feel a little sore, and your vision may be foggy. However, you shouldn’t use any eye drops without talking to your eye doctor first.

Call your doctor right away if your eyes are dry, itchy, or painful, or if your vision gets worse. This could be a symptom of certain side effects or an infection, which may require treatment.

Will Lucentis affect my vision?

Yes, Lucentis may affect your vision. In clinical studies, Lucentis improved vision in some people with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular edema, and myopic choroidal neovascularization.

It’s important to note that the eye disorders Lucentis treats may reduce your ability to see over time. Medications like Lucentis can slow down the progression (worsening) of the disease, but your vision may still get worse over time.

Call your doctor if your vision is noticeably worse after your Lucentis injection. This could be a symptom of a side effect or infection, which will need to be treated.

Will Lucentis cure my eye condition?

No, Lucentis will not cure your eye condition. Certain eye conditions, like wet AMD, occur because an overgrowth of blood vessels under the retina causes fluid to build up. If not treated, these conditions can lead to vision problems, and in some cases, blindness.

The blood vessels causing these issues need a compound called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in order to grow.

Lucentis contains the active drug ranibizumab, which belongs to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. Lucentis works by binding to VEGF, which prevents VEGF from growing more blood vessels. Fewer blood vessels mean less fluid builds up in the retina, which can help delay vision loss or improve vision.

Although Lucentis can help treat your eye condition, it doesn’t cure wet AMD or any other eye condition.

After I get Lucentis injections, my eyes are sensitive to light. Should I call my doctor?

Yes, call your doctor if your eyes are sensitive to light after Lucentis injections. Light sensitivity could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect called endophthalmitis. This condition is a medical emergency and could lead to permanent vision loss if not treated.

Before taking Lucentis, talk with your doctor about your health history. Lucentis may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Eye infection. If you have an active eye infection, you should not get a Lucentis injection. The injection may worsen the infection, which could cause permanent vision loss.
  • Glaucoma. If you have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), talk with your doctor before getting Lucentis injections. With Lucentis, liquid is injected into your eye, which increases the pressure inside it. Depending on the severity of your glaucoma, your doctor may want to treat your glaucoma with medication before starting Lucentis treatment.
  • Diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema (DME). For people with diabetic retinopathy or DME, taking Lucentis may slightly raise the risk of death. In clinical trials lasting 2 years, 2.8% to 4.4% of people with either of these conditions who took Lucentis died. In comparison, 1.2% of those who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) died. However, in those taking the drug, it’s not clear if Lucentis was the cause of death. If you have diabetic retinopathy or DME, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking Lucentis.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Lucentis is safe to take during pregnancy, as it has not been studied in pregnant women. For more information, see the “Lucentis and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s unknown if Lucentis is safe to take while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Lucentis and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Lucentis, see the “Lucentis side effects” section above.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Lucentis is indicated for use in the following eye conditions:

Mechanism of action

Lucentis contains the active drug ranibizumab, which is a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor. It works by binding to VEGF and preventing it from attaching to cellular binding sites, thus preventing it from exerting its main action of neovascularization.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

The maximum serum concentrations are expected to be reached after 1 day following intravitreal injection. The estimated vitreous half-life is approximately 9 days. The estimated serum concentration is predicted to be approximately 90,000-fold lower than vitreal concentrations.

Contraindications

Lucentis is contraindicated in patients with active ocular or periocular infections, and in patients with a known hypersensitivity to Lucentis or any of its components.

Storage

Lucentis should be stored in its original container, protected from light, and refrigerated at a storage temperature between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C) until the expiration date printed on the label. Do not freeze Lucentis.

Do not open a Lucentis prefilled syringe tray until the time of use. Each vial and prefilled syringe are single-eye use only, so they should not be put back into storage once used.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.