WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Intravitreal injections, including those with LUCENTIS, have been associated with endophthalmitis and retinal detachment. Proper aseptic injection technique should always be utilized when administering LUCENTIS. Patients should be monitored following the injection to permit early treatment, should an infection occur.
Increases in intraocular pressure (IOP) have been noted both pre-injection and post-injection (at 60 minutes) with LUCENTIS. Monitor intraocular pressure prior to and following intravitreal injection with LUCENTIS and manage appropriately.
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 3 controlled neovascular AMD studies 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. 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 study during the first 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 2 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). 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 and Diabetic Retinopathy
In a pooled analysis of Studies DME-1 and DME-2, 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 occurred more frequently in patients with DME and DR at baseline treated monthly with LUCENTIS compared with control. A pooled analysis of Studies D-1 and D-2, 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.