ILUVIEN (Fluocinolone Acetonide Intravitreal Implant)
ILUVIEN implant is a corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) in patients who were priorly treated with corticosteroids and did not develop a clinically significant increase in the intraocular pressure.
ILUVIEN is the only FDA approved intravitreal implant that delivers steroid to the retina for 36 months. It’s a non-biodegradable implant containing 0.19 mg of fluocinolone acetonide.
How does ILUVIEN work?
ILUVIEN’s active ingredient is fluocinolone acetonide, a corticosteroid medicine that helps to treat inflammation caused by diabetic macular edema (DME). In DME, an accumulation of fluid occurs in the macula (small area at the center of the retina) causing it to swell.
In effect, blurring of vision or other visual disturbances such as floaters and double vision may occur. ILUVIEN is designed to address the inflammation by delivering a continuous low dose of fluocinolone acetonide to the retina for a period of 36 months. Fluocinolone acetonide is released at an initial rate of 0.25 μg per day.
How is ILUVIEN different from other DME treatments?
ILUVIEN is a tiny single implant injected into the eye and remains implanted for continuous delivery of low dose steroid that lasts for 36 months in a sustained-release drug delivery system.
What to expect during the intravitreal ILUVIEN injection procedure?
It’s a same-day procedure that does not typically require hospital stay.
It’s a single injection administered by an eye specialist under aseptic conditions. It is delivered via a tiny needle and there are no stitches.
Topical anesthetics will be used prior to the procedure to numb the eye. A feeling of pressure should be expected during the injection of the implant.
A close follow-up to assess the drug effect and monitor any possible side effects will be made periodically after the injection. It is important to comply with the scheduled eye exams.
Most Common side effects of ILUVIEN:
Formation of cataracts. If a cataract forms and vision is significantly reduced, a surgical removal of the cataract is required to restore vision.
Increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). Increase in the eye pressure can lead to glaucoma. It can usually be treated with medications but some people may require surgery.
As with any other intravitreal injections, complications such as endophthalmitis (serious eye infection affecting the tissues inside the eye), eye inflammation, and retinal detachment may occur.
When not to use ILUVIEN
If patient has a missing or torn posterior capsule as the implant may move to the anterior chamber of the eye.
If patient is diagnosed with glaucoma with a cup to disc ratio of greater than 0.8.
If patient is suffering from any infection in and/or around the eye.
If patient has an allergy to any of the ingredients of ILUVIEN.
A temporary blurring of vision may occur following an intravitreal injection. It is advised to avoid driving and use of machines until symptoms have been resolved.
Seek immediate medical advice if any eye redness, pain, sensitivity to light and changes in vision occurs.