Brand Name (Generic Name)

Lucentis (ranibizumab injection)

Lucentis is the first and only FDA-approved medicine that treats diabetic macular edema (DME). It is also used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO). It is administered as a monthly injection into the eye while under local anesthesia. Because wet AMD, RVO, and DME affect either the retina or macula, they seriously decrease the quality of vision in people who suffer from them. Lucentis helps counteract this, and attempts to reduce the amount of vision loss associated with each complication.

Wet AMD, RVO, and DME are caused by VEGF-A proteins, which cause abnormal blood vessel growth in the back of the eye (for DME, diabetes is an actual cause of the complication). These blood vessels tend to swell and leak into the macula (or retina in the case of DME), causing scarring that leads to blurry vision and, eventually, a total loss of vision. Lucentis injections block VEGF-A proteins and prevent blood vessels from swelling, effectively stopping this process before it affects vision quality.

Lucentis's serious side effects include serious eye infection, detached retina, and cataracts. The most common side effects are eye pain, increased redness in the eye, small specks in vision, and the feeling that something is in your eye. People with eye infections, and those allergic to its ingredients, are suggested to refrain from using Lucentis.

Compiled by Joe Guarneri, dLife contributing writer.

Reviewed by James A. Bennett 06/14

Last Modified Date: June 09, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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