FDA Approves Lucentis for Diabetic Macular Edema

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the drug Lucentis to treat diabetic macular edema. Lucentis is already used to treat other vision problems, including wet age-related macular degeneration. People with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing the type of diabetic retinopathy known as diabetic macular edema (DME), which has the potential to severely impair vision.

Blurred vision is the most common outcome of DME. It can lead to vision loss. The macula is the central portion of the retina, and it is where clear, sharp vision originates. When DME occurs, fluid leaks into the macula, and the fluid causes the macula to swell and blurs vision as a result.

The FDA approved the drug following data from two clinical studies with 759 participants. These participants were treated with Lucentis and monitored for three years. Using an eye chart, researchers determined whether vision improved. According to an FDA news release, between 34 to 45 percent of the participants treated with monthly 0.3 milligram injections of Lucentis gained three lines of vision on an eye chart. Only 12 to 18 percent of participants who did not have Lucentis injections had improved vision.

Common side effects of Lucentis injections include bleeding from the tissue on the inside of the eyelids (conjunctiva), floaters, eye pain and a rise in intraocular pressure.

To learn more about treatment for diabetic retinopathy, please find an eye doctor in your area using the eyes.com directory.