Ranibizumab is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD; an ongoing disease of the eye that causes loss of the ability to see straight ahead and may make it more difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities). Ranibizumab is in a class of medications called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) antagonists. It works by stopping abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye(s) that may cause vision loss in people with wet AMD.
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.
Before you receive a ranibizumab injection, your doctor will clean your eye to prevent infection and numb your eye to reduce discomfort during the injection. You may feel pressure in your eye when the medication is injected. After your injection, your doctor will need to examine your eyes before you leave the office.
Ranibizumab controls wet AMD, but does not cure it. Your doctor will watch you carefully to see how well ranibizumab works for you. Talk to your doctor about how long you should continue treatment with ranibizumab.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before receiving ranibizumab injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ranibizumab or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention if you have received verteporfin (Visudyne) recently.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma (an eye disease) or an infection in or around your eyes.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ranibizumab, call your doctor.
- your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops for you to use for a few days after you receive each injection. Talk to your doctor about how to use these eye drops.
- ask your doctor if there are any activities you should avoid during your treatment with ranibizumab injection.
- you should know that your eyes will be dilated (treated with eye drops that widen the pupils) before you receive each ranibizumab injection. This may make your eyes sensitive to bright light and may make it difficult for you to drive. Bring a hat or sunglasses to your appointment and plan to have someone drive you home after your treatment.
- talk to your doctor about testing your vision at home during your treatment. Check your vision in both eyes as directed by your doctor, and call your doctor if there are any changes in your vision.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If you miss an appointment to receive ranibizumab, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Ranibizumab may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry or itchy eyes
- teary eyes
- feeling that something is in your eye
- back pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- reddening of eye
- eye sensitivity to light
- eye pain
- decrease or changes in vision
- bleeding in or around the eye
- swelling of the eye or eyelid
- seeing ''floaters'' or small specks
- seeing flashing lights
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- slow or difficult speech
- dizziness or faintness
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
Ranibizumab may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will need to examine your eyes to see if you are developing serious side effects within 2 to 7 days after you receive each ranibizumab injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: February 15, 2012.