Iluvien Treats Diabetic Macular Edema for 3 Years

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Iluvien Treats Diabetic Macular Edema for 3 Years

There's a new LONG TERM treatment for patients with diabetic macular edema. Iluvien is now available in the United States. It releases steroid and can improve your macular edema for years!

US ILUVIEN LOGOIluvien is now available in the United States!  Finally receiving FDA approval in late 2014, the injectable sustained release intravitreal implant  is on the market.

Alimera Sciences states that Iluvien (sustained release of fluocinolone) will release its drug for up to 3 years.

Iluvien Treats Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema is the most common vision threatening complication of diabetic retinopathy.  In essence, normal blood vessels of the retina become leaky due to the diabetic retinopathy.

Fluid accumulation in or near the center of the macula is called diabetic macular edema (DME).  This is also known as clinically significant macular edema (CSME) if you are a doctor.

DME often causes blurry vision and in extreme cases can cause legal blindness.

Therapy is aimed at stopping the leakage.  With time, the macular edema may “dry up.”

Treatment options include laser, anti-VEGF (e.g. Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea), intravitreal steroids (Kenalog) or sustained release intravitreal implants (Ozurdex, Iluvien).Size comparison of Iluvien to Pencil Tip | Randall Wong, M.D., Retina Specialist, Fairfax, Virginia

Iluvien is Injected Painlessly

Iluvien is injected directly into the vitreous.  The sustained release system will release fluocinolone for 3 years.  The actual “pellet” is small enough to fit inside a 25 gauge needle.  It is smaller and thinner than a grain of rice.  You may click on the image to enlarge.

By injecting directly into the eye, as with all intravitreal injections, only small amounts of drug are needed to treat the retina.

The steroid will chemically stop the retinal vessels, affected by the diabetic retinopathy, from leaking.

36 month Delivery

While intravitreal drug delivery is not novel, the duration of the product is unique.

Constant treatment for 36 months may have huge practical advantages; namely fewer offices visits and less testing.

The economics of this are intriguing.  The practical consequences are even more staggering.  In short, this could mean far fewer trips to the retina specialist for the patient AND the family.  Fewer office visits translates into fewer examinations and testing.

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

Comments
  • diabetic rice January 9, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Id diabetic rice friendly for diabetes control?

    • Randall Wong, M.D. February 28, 2019 at 3:07 am

      What is diabetic rice?

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