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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Cataract Formation

Use of corticosteroids may result in posterior subcapsular cataract formation. Based on clinical trials with RETISERT, during the 3-year post implantation period , nearly all phakic eyes are expected to develop cataracts and require cataract surgery.

Endophthalmitis and Surgical Complications

Late onset endophthalmitis has been observed. These events are often related to the integrity of the surgical wound site. Careful attention to assure tight closure of the scleral wound and the integrity of the overlying conjunctiva at the wound site is important.

Potential complications accompanying intraocular surgery to place RETISERT into the vitreous cavity may include, but are not limited to, the following: cataract formation, choroidal detachment, endophthalmitis, hypotony, increased intraocular pressure, exacerbation of intraocular inflammation, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, vitreous loss, and wound dehiscence.

Following implantation of RETISERT, nearly all patients will experience an immediate and temporary decrease in visual acuity in the implanted eye which lasts for approximately one to four weeks post-operatively.

Increase in Intraocular Pressure

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may result in elevated IOP and/or glaucoma with damage to the optic nerve, defects in visual acuity and fields of vision. Steroids should be used with caution in the presence of glaucoma. Patients must be monitored for elevated IOP.

Based on clinical trials with RETISERT, within 3-years post implantation, approximately 77% of patients will require IOP lowering medications to control intraocular pressure and 37% of patients will require filtering procedures to control intraocular pressure. (see Clinical Trials Experience - Ocular Events section).

Separation of Implant Components

In vitro stability studies show that the strength of the adhesive bond between the silicone cup reservoir and the suture tab is reduced with prolonged hydration, indicating a potential for the separation of these components. The suture tab composition is a silicone elastomer reinforced with a polyester mesh. Physicians should periodically monitor the integrity of the implant by visual inspection.

Other Corticosteroid Induced Adverse Reactions

RETISERT should be used with caution in patients with a history of a viral, bacterial, mycobacterial or fungal infection of the cornea and conjunctiva including epithelial herpes simplex keratitis (dendritic keratitis), vaccinia and varicella. Use of ocular steroids may prolong the course and may exacerbate the severity of many viral infections of the eye (including herpes simplex). Employment of a corticosteroid medication in the treatment of patients with a history of herpes simplex requires great caution.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may suppress the host response and thus increase the hazard of secondary ocular infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral). In acute purulent conditions of the eye, steroids may mask infection or enhance existing infection. Fungal and viral infections of the cornea are particularly prone to develop coincidentally with long-term application of steroids. The possibility of fungal invasion should be considered in any persistent corneal ulceration where steroid treatment has been used.

Since resistance to infections is known to be reduced by corticosteroids, simultaneous bilateral implantation should not be carried out, in order to limit the potential for bilateral post-operative infection.

Ocular administration of corticosteroids has also been associated with delayed wound healing and perforation of the globe where there is thinning of the sclera.

The use of steroids after cataract surgery may delay healing and increase the incidence of bleb formation.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed on RETISERT to evaluate the carcinogenic potential or the effect on fertility of fluocinolone acetonide.

Fluocinolone acetonide was not genotoxic in vitro in the Ames test, the mouse lymphoma TK assay, or in vivo in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

No adequate animal reproduction studies have been conducted with fluocinolone acetonide. Corticosteroids are generally teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Fluocinolone acetonide when administered subcutaneously at a dose of 0.13 mg/kg/day (approximately 10,000 times the daily clinical dose of RETISERT), during days 6 to 18 of pregnancy in the rabbit, induced abortion at the end of the third and at the beginning of the fourth gestational week. When administered subcutaneously to rats and rabbits during gestation at a maternal toxic dose of 50 μg/kg/day (approximately 4,000 times the clinical dose of RETISERT), fluocinolone acetonide caused abortions and malformations in a few surviving fetuses.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. RETISERT should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether ocular administration of corticosteroids could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. Systemic steroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Caution should be exercised when RETISERT is implanted in a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 years have not been established.

Geriatric Use

No overall differences in safety and effectiveness have been observed between elderly and younger patients.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/2/2011


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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