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"June 29, 2011 (San Diego) -- Lucentis, a drug used to treat people with vision problems from age-related macular degeneration, may help to restore vision among people with eye complications caused by diabetes, two studies suggest.





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Endophthalmitis And Retinal Detachments

Intravitreal injections, including those with LUCENTIS, have been associated with endophthalmitis and retinal detachments. Proper aseptic injection technique should always be used when administering LUCENTIS. In addition, patients should be monitored following the injection to permit early treatment should an infection occur [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and PATIENT INFORMATION].

Increases In Intraocular Pressure

Increases in intraocular pressure have been noted both pre-injection and post-injection (at 60 minutes) while being treated with LUCENTIS. Monitor intraocular pressure prior to and following intravitreal injection with LUCENTIS and manage appropriately [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Thromboembolic Events

Although there was a low rate of arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs) observed in the LUCENTIS clinical trials, there is a potential risk of ATEs following intravitreal use of VEGF inhibitors. ATEs are defined as nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or vascular death (including deaths of unknown cause).

Neovascular (Wet) Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The ATE rate in the three controlled neovascular AMD studies (AMD-1, AMD-2, AMD-3) during the first year was 1.9% (17 of 874) in the combined group of patients treated with 0.3 mg or 0.5 mg LUCENTIS compared with 1.1% (5 of 441) in patients from the control arms [see Clinical Studies]. In the second year of Studies AMD-1 and AMD-2, the ATE rate was 2.6% (19 of 721) in the combined group of LUCENTIS-treated patients compared with 2.9% (10 of 344) in patients from the control arms. In Study AMD-4, the ATE rates observed in the 0.5 mg arms during the first and second year were similar to rates observed in Studies AMD-1, AMD-2, and AMD-3.

In a pooled analysis of 2-year controlled studies (AMD-1, AMD-2, and a study of LUCENTIS used adjunctively with verteporfin photodynamic therapy), the stroke rate (including both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke) was 2.7% (13 of 484) in patients treated with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS compared to 1.1% (5 of 435) in patients in the control arms (odds ratio 2.2 (95% confidence interval (0.8-7.1))).

Macular Edema Following Retinal Vein Occlusion

The ATE rate in the two controlled RVO studies during the first 6 months was 0.8% in both the LUCENTIS and control arms of the studies (4 of 525 in the combined group of patients treated with 0.3 mg or 0.5 mg LUCENTIS and 2 of 260 in the control arms) [see Clinical Studies]. The stroke rate was 0.2% (1 of 525) in the combined group of LUCENTIS-treated patients compared to 0.4% (1 of 260) in the control arms.

Diabetic Macular Edema

In a pooled analysis of Studies DME-1 and DME-2 [see Clinical Studies], the ATE rate at 2 years was 7.2% (18 of 250) with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS, 5.6% (14 of 250) with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS, and 5.2% (13 of 250) with control. The stroke rate at 2 years was 3.2% (8 of 250) with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS, 1.2% (3 of 250) with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS, and 1.6% (4 of 250) with control. At 3 years, the ATE rate was 10.4% (26 of 249) with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS and 10.8% (27 of 250) with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS; the stroke rate was 4.8% (12 of 249) with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS and 2.0% (5 of 250) with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS.

Fatal Events In DME Patients

A pooled analysis of Studies DME-1 and DME-2 [see Clinical Studies] showed that fatalities in the first 2 years occurred in 4.4% (11 of 250) of patients treated with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS, in 2.8% (7 of 250) of patients treated with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS, and in 1.2% (3 of 250) of control patients. Over 3 years, fatalities occurred in 6.4% (16 of 249) of patients treated with 0.5 mg LUCENTIS and in 4.4% (11 of 250) of patients treated with 0.3 mg LUCENTIS. Although the rate of fatal events was low and included causes of death typical of patients with advanced diabetic complications, a potential relationship between these events and intravitreal use of VEGF inhibitors cannot be excluded.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

No carcinogenicity or mutagenicity data are available for ranibizumab injection in animals or humans.

No studies on the effects of ranibizumab on fertility have been conducted. Although systemic exposure following ocular administration is expected to be low, effects on female fertility are possible due to the anti-VEGF mechanism of action for ranibizumab [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no studies of LUCENTIS in pregnant women. An embryo-fetal developmental toxicity study was performed on pregnant cynomolgus monkeys. Pregnant animals received intravitreal injections of ranibizumab every 14 days starting on Day 20 of gestation, until Day 62 at doses of 0, 0.125, and 1 mg/eye. Skeletal abnormalities including incomplete and/or irregular ossification of bones in the skull, vertebral column, and hindlimbs and shortened supernumerary ribs were seen at a low incidence in fetuses from animals treated with 1 mg/eye of ranibizumab. The 1 mg/eye dose resulted in trough serum ranibizumab levels up to 13 times higher than predicted Cmax levels with single eye treatment in humans. No skeletal abnormalities were seen

at the lower dose of 0.125 mg/eye, a dose which resulted in trough exposures equivalent to single eye treatment in humans. No effect on the weight or structure of the placenta, maternal toxicity, or embryotoxicity was observed.

Animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response. It is also not known whether ranibizumab can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Based on the anti-VEGF mechanism of action for ranibizumab [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], treatment with LUCENTIS may pose a risk to embryo-fetal development (including teratogenicity) and reproductive capacity. LUCENTIS should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether ranibizumab is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because the potential for absorption and harm to infant growth and development exists, caution should be exercised when LUCENTIS is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of LUCENTIS in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

In the clinical studies, approximately 79% (2387 of 3005) of patients randomized to treatment with LUCENTIS were ≥ 65 years of age and approximately 54% (1636 of 3005) were ≥ 75 years of age [see Clinical Studies]. No notable differences in efficacy or safety were seen with increasing age in these studies. Age did not have a significant effect on systemic exposure.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/17/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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