Lucentis (ranibizumab) is a prescription drug that’s used for eye conditions such as macular edema. Lucentis comes as a liquid solution that’s given by injection into the eye.
Lucentis is prescribed to help improve vision in adults with:
- Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD involves blood vessels forming and leaking fluid and blood under your macula (the center part of your retina).
- Macular edema in certain situations. Macular edema causes fluid buildup in your macula.
- Diabetic macular edema. Diabetic macular edema causes fluid buildup in your macula.
- Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects your retina (the part of the eye that allows you to see).
- Myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). mCNV involves atypical blood vessels forming in the back of the eye in people with nearsightedness.
To learn more about the uses of Lucentis, see the “What is Lucentis used for?” section below.
Lucentis contains the active ingredient ranibizumab. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Lucentis is a biologic medication. Biologics are made from parts of living organisms. The active drug in Lucentis, ranibizumab, is also available as
Like most drugs, Lucentis may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Lucentis may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you may be taking
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Lucentis. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects. For more details, you can see this article.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Lucentis can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read the drug’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Lucentis that have been reported include:
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Lucentis can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Lucentis, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Lucentis that have been reported include:
- increased pressure in your eye
- endophthalmitis (inflammation in the inner part of your eye)
- detachment of the retina from the back of your eye
- blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Lucentis.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Lucentis. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Lucentis. What you’ll pay for Lucentis may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use.
Here are a few things to consider regarding cost:
- Generic or biosimilar form: Lucentis is available in biosimilar* forms called Cimerli and Byooviz. Biosimilars usually cost less than brand-name drugs. Talk with your doctor if you’d like to know whether Cimerli or Byooviz could be an option or you.
- Savings program: If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Programs such as Genentech Ophthalmology Co-pay Program and other resources may also be available.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
* Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for
Lucentis is prescribed to help improve vision in adults with certain eye conditions. These include:
Diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is a complication of diabetes that affects your retina (the part of your eye that allows you to see).
Myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). mCNV is an eye condition in which atypical blood vessels form in the back of the eye in people with nearsightedness.
Ranibizumab (the active drug in Lucentis) targets a certain protein and stops it from binding to its receptors (attachment sites).
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Lucentis that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but the dosage you receive will be determined by your doctor.
Form and strengths
Lucentis comes as a liquid solution that’s injected into your eye by your doctor. The drug comes in both vials and prefilled syringes.
Lucentis comes in two strengths: 0.3 milligrams (mg) or 0.5 mg of the drug in 0.05 milliliters (mL) of solution.
For most conditions, you’ll receive Lucentis as an injection into your eye once about every 28 days. Depending on your condition, your doctor may change your injection frequency.
To learn more about the dosages of Lucentis, see this article.
How it’s given
Lucentis is a liquid solution that comes in both vials and prefilled syringes. The drug is injected directly into your eye by your doctor.
With prefilled syringes of Lucentis, the dose of medication needed is ready to be injected by your doctor. With vials of Lucentis, your doctor will need to draw up a dose of the drug from the vial into a syringe.
Before you receive Lucentis injections, your doctor may give you certain medications. Examples include:
- an eye drop, gel, or injection to numb your eye
- an antiseptic to clean your eye and prevent infections
- an eye drop to dilate (widen) your pupils
For more information about how Lucentis doses are given, see the drug’s prescribing information.
Questions about receiving Lucentis
Here are answers to some common questions about receiving Lucentis:
- What if I miss a dose of Lucentis? Your doctor will administer Lucentis as an injection. So, you’ll need an appointment to receive your doses of this drug. If you miss your appointment, call your doctor’s office to reschedule. Missing a dose of Lucentis may make the drug less effective.
- Will I need to use Lucentis long term? For most conditions, you’ll likely receive Lucentis long term if you and your doctor feel that it’s working for your condition.
Below is important information you should consider before receiving Lucentis.
Taking a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.
Before starting Lucentis treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Lucentis during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, your doctor will only administer Lucentis if they feel it’s necessary and safe. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy before starting Lucentis treatment.
It’s also not known whether Lucentis passes into breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about whether Lucentis is safe for you and your child.
Lucentis may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Lucentis. Factors to consider include those in the list below.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. If you’d like to explore an alternative to Lucentis, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that might work well for you.
The following drugs are similar to Lucentis:
If you have questions about Lucentis treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- Which supplements or herbs can I take with Lucentis injections to improve my vision?
- Can I drive after receiving Lucentis injections?
- How can I reduce my anxiety before receiving Lucentis injections?
To learn more about Lucentis, see this article:
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Disclaimer: Healthline 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 another 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.