Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Drug Reverses Diabetes-Related Vision Loss

Lucentis Combined With Laser Better Than Laser Alone, Government Study Finds
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

April 28, 2010 -- Federal researchers say a new treatment can reverse vision loss in many patients with diabetic macular edema, a leading cause of blindness in people with diabetes.

In a news conference yesterday, researchers announced findings from a government study comparing treatments for swelling of the retina caused by leaking blood vessels in the eye.

Nearly 50% of patients given eye injections of the drug Lucentis along with laser treatments showed improvement in vision after a year of treatment, compared to just over a fourth of patients treated with laser alone.

For several decades, laser has been the standard treatment for diabetic macular edema, or DME, in which fluid builds up near the center of the retina.

“For the first time in 25 years we have definitive proof that a new treatment can lead to better results for the eye health of people with diabetes,” said Neil M. Bressler, MD, who oversaw the study as chairman of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network.

Lucentis Approved for Macular Degeneration

Lucentis is a genetically engineered drug derived from the cancer drug Avastin, which was the first targeted biologic treatment approved by the FDA.

The newer biologic was approved in June 2006 for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Bressler said the clear superiority of Lucentis with laser over laser alone in patients with diabetic macular edema should have an immediate impact on clinical practice, even though the biologic treatment is not approved for this indication.

“We expect the results of this study to have a major impact on how ophthalmologists treat macular edema in people with diabetes,” he says.

The study included 691 diabetic patients with macular edema in one or both eyes.

The patients received either standard laser treatment alone, Lucentis plus laser treatments in different dosing schedules, or the injectable steroid drug Trivaris with standard laser therapy.

Lucentis injections were limited to once a month, but most patients ended up having no more than eight or nine injections over the course of a year.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner