Ranibizumab is a prescription usedfor the treatment of certain serious eye conditions such as:

  • Macular edema
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Macular edema occurs when fluid buildsup in the retina. This causes swelling and can distort vision. The macula helpsus see fine detail and color. With macula edema, vision can resemble the screenof an older model TV set with washed-out colors and a blurry picture. Without treatment,it can even lead to permanent vision loss.                                                                                                                                                  

Age-related macular degeneration isthe leading cause of severe and irreversible vision loss in people over age 60.It happens when the small central portion of the retina called macula getsworse. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Althoughthis condition is rarely a blinding condition, it can be a source of significantvisual disability.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused bydamage to the blood vessels of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Atfirst, this type of condition may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems.Eventually, it can cause blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can develop in anyone whohas type1 or type2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and less controlledyour blood sugar are, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.

Ranibizumab is a type of medicinecalled vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This slows the growth ofabnormal new blood vessels in the eye. This also lessens leakage from theseblood vessels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approvedthis prescription. Ranibizumab comes as a sterile and colorless to pale yellowsolution in a single-use vial. This product is supplied as a preservative-free sterilesolution with the strengths of 6 mg/ml and 10 mg/ml.

Howdoes Ranibizumab work?

In eye conditions, blood vesselsfrom the back of the eye grow abnormally into the macula. These blood vesselsmay leak or bleed into this area that causes swelling and a rapid reduction in centralvision. A substance called vascularendothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) is responsible for making the bloodvessels grow and leak.

Ranibizumab is a monoclonal antibody that hasbeen designed to specifically recognize and bind to VEGF-A. By binding toVEGF-A, this drug blocks the action of this substance which helps to stop thegrowth and leakage of blood vessels in the eye. The medicine can help improvedamaged vision or prevent it from getting worse. In clinical trials,some people started seeing better as early as day 7. For others, it took up toa few months for their vision to improve.

Howto use Ranibizumab?

The dosage will depend on yourmedical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may start ata low dose and gradually increase it. You must take this medication exactly asit is prescribed. Do not take more or less than it is given by your doctor.

Ranibizumab is given by injectioninto the affected eyes. The affected eye is numbed before each injection. Your eyewill be monitored before and after the injection. This should be used asdirected by your doctor.

Before using this product, checkit visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not usethe liquid. Clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol before injecting eachdose. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. To get the mostbenefit from it, use the medication regularly. Remember to use the prescriptionat the same time each day. Let your doctor know if your condition does notimprove or if it gets worse. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as youremember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose andfollow your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the misseddose. Consult your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it getsworse.

Whatare the side effects of Ranibizumab?

Common side effects:

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Discomfort and increased tears in the affectedeyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus pain
  • Cough
  • Joint pain

Tell your doctor right away ifyou these serious side effects such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain or redness
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Swelling around your eyes
  • Discharge or bleeding from the eye
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Sudden numbness or weakness especially on one sideof the body
  • Seeing flashes of light in your vision
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Problems with speech or balance

Call for a medical emergency ifyou have signs of an allergic reaction such as:

  • Hives or itching
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat
  • Difficulty or trouble breathing

Warningsand Precautions

  • Before taking Ranibizumab, tell your doctor if youhave any medical history especially of stroke. Tell as well if you ever had anallergic reaction to this drug. This may have an inactive ingredient that causesan allergic reaction.
  • This drug may make you dizzy. Do not operatemachinery or do any activity that needs your full alertness.
  • Occasionally after having this medication, some peoplemay develop an infection inside the eye, pain or redness in the eye. For thisreason, you should tell your doctor right away if you develop any of thefollowing symptoms after having the injection.
  • You should use an effective method of contraceptionto avoid getting pregnant during treatment with this drug. Women should consulttheir doctor if they get pregnant while having this treatment.
  • You should not share this with others even if theyhave the same symptoms as yours.
  • This should not be used in people with active orsuspected infection in or around the eye and those with severe inflammation inthe eye.
  • This product is not recommended for use in childrenand adolescents under 18 years of age.
  • Use this with caution in people needing treatmentfor both eyes, those who have diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and withactive infections inside the body.