Ozurdex is a medication that can help treat macular edema and uveitis (swelling of the uvea). This prescription product comes in the form of an implant that is injected directly into the eye. Once inside the eye, the implant dissolves, releasing a steroid medication that reduces inflammation. Although it is generally well tolerated, side effects, such as increased eye pressure, are possible.
What Is Ozurdex?
Ozurdex® (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) is a prescription medication used to treat the following eye conditions:
- Macular edema (swelling) from retinal vein occlusion (RVO), which is a blockage of the vein that carries blood out of the eye
- Swelling of the uvea (the middle layer of the eye), medically known as uveitis.
Who Makes Ozurdex?Ozurdex is made by Allergan, Inc.
How Does It Work?Ozurdex is a tiny, rod-shaped implant that is injected directly into the eye. The implant contains dexamethasone, a corticosteroid (or "steroid") medication. Once inside the eye, the implant slowly dissolves, releasing the medication. Like other steroid medicines, dexamethasone reduces inflammation.
Because the implant dissolves inside the eye, it does not need to be removed.
In clinical studies, up to 30 percent of people with macular edema who were given Ozurdex had an improvement in vision of three or more lines on the eye chart two months after receiving the injection, compared with up to 12 percent of people given a placebo (fake injections with no active ingredient). People given Ozurdex had a faster improvement in vision on average than those given the fake injections.
In clinical studies of uveitis, 43 percent of people given Ozurdex had a vision improvement of three or more lines on the eye chart eight weeks after the injection, compared with 7 percent of people given the placebo injections. In addition, 47 percent of the Ozurdex-treated group were considered free from inflammation after eight weeks, compared to 12 percent of those in the placebo group.