Ozurdex: intravitreal medication for eye problems

Losing your eyesight can seem daunting. Whether partially or totally, the compromise of this sense causes major changes in the way of life of those who suffer from the problem.

Thus, more and more medications for the treatment of diseases that can affect eye functioning are being developed.

This is the case of Ozurdex, a drug used to treat inflammation and edema in the eye region.

What is Ozurdex?

Ozurdex is one of the trade names for the active ingredient Dexamethasone, a corticoid.

It is a medication manufactured by Allergan – a pharmaceutical company – and used to treat patients with ophthalmic problems caused by inflammation and edema.

Its administration is through the application of an implant in the eye (via injection) and is a drug of prolonged release.

In other words, a stick-shaped implant (approximately 6mm piece) is applied to the eye, which will gradually release the medication over a period of approximately 6 months.

Because it has a biodegradable mechanism, the implant is gradually absorbed by the eye, without the need to remove it after the end of the treatment.

What is the medicine Ozurdex for?

Ozurdex is used to treat eye problems. The drug is indicated for:

  • Accumulation of fluid in the eye (macular edema), caused by obstruction of veins in the retina;
  • Accumulation of fluid in the eye caused by excess blood sugar (diabetic macular edema);
  • Inflammation in the back of the eye, such as non-infectious Uveitis.

The indication of use of the medication must be made by a specialized professional.

Dexamethasone: how does the active ingredient in Ozurdex work?

Dexamethasone, the drug’s active ingredient, has anti-inflammatory potential, reducing inflammation and edema in the area.

It acts in the inhibition of inflammatory cytokines, that is, molecules of the immune system that cause inflammation.

The substance also acts to induce vascular permeability, one of the stages of the tissue recovery process, in cases of inflammation.

This permeability consists of some of the blood vessels allowing the largest passage of blood plasma to injured tissues, in order to bring nutrition substances, coagulants and antibodies to the site.

Also, it prevents the release of chemical signals that participate in the formation of edema cystoid macular, causing visual disturbances.

How to use Ozurdex according to the package leaflet?

According to the package leaflet, the medication is administered via injection into the eye and must be applied by a specialist, in general, in a hospital environment.

The recommended dose is 1 applicator, that is, 0.7 mg of the product in the injured eye.

However, the doctor’s instructions must be followed, as the professional will assess the need for reapplication and determine the duration of treatment.

What are the side effects?

Like other medications, Ozurdex can have some side effects, which may vary according to the purpose of the treatment.

However, it is worth remembering that not all people will necessarily suffer from adverse reactions.

Each organism reacts differently to the action of the medication, with or without side effects.

Among the adverse reactions, according to the treated framework, are:

Macular edema

For the treatment of macular edema, the most common side effects are:

  • Increase in eye pressure;
  • Conjunctival hemorrhage.

Common reactions are:

  • Pain in the eyes;
  • Redness;
  • Cataract;
  • Cataract at the back of the lens;
  • Vitreous detachment;
  • Increased tearing;
  • Visual disturbances;
  • Ocular hypertension.

The uncommon , but which can occur, are:

  • Retinal vein obstruction;
  • Vitreous opacification.

Headaches can also occur.

Diabetic macular edema

The most common reactions that can occur in the treatment of diabetic macular edema are:

  • Cataract;
  • Cataract at the back of the lens;
  • Increased pressure in the eye;
  • Hemorrhage in the conjunctiva.

The common are:

  • Cataract in the nucleus of the lens;
  • Lenticular opacity;
  • Pain in the eyes;
  • Edema in the conjunctiva;
  • Vitreous displacement;
  • Inflammation of the anterior chamber;
  • Reduction in visual perception;
  • Glassy opacity;
  • Hemorrhage in the vitreous;
  • Ocular hypertension.

The uncommon ones , however, which may occur, are:

  • Glaucoma;
  • Necrotizing retinitis;
  • Endophthalmitis.


The most common reactions to occur are:

  • Cataract;
  • Increased pressure in the eyes.

The common ones :

  • Itchy eyelid;
  • Inflammation in the eyelids;
  • Redness;
  • Vitreous opacification;
  • Stains in the vision;
  • Visual impairment.

In addition, headaches can occur.

Read more: Glaucoma: what it is, symptoms and treatment

Ozurdex and Lucentis

Both Ozurdex and Lucentis are expensive drugs, used to treat eye problems.

Lucentis has Ranibizumab as an active ingredient and is indicated to treat lesions of the retina.

The substance works by reducing the growth and leakage of new vessels in the retina, which can boost eye disease.

Unlike Ozurdex (which has a prolonged release), Lucentis is administered through a liquid solution and thus has immediate release.

Price: where to buy Ozurdex cheaper?

The Ozurdex can be found in physical pharmacy or online and its price may vary according to geographic region and purchase of property.

In general, its value is R $ 3,400 * and requires a white medical prescription (common).

If there is a need to compare prices, the Consulta Remédios website can be used , which provides medication values ​​in several pharmacies in each region.

* Prices consulted in February 2020. Prices may change.

Is Ozurdex Generic or Similar?

No . Ozurdex is a reference medicine – originator of the formula – and does not have generic or similar drugs.

Are you in the SUS or in the ANS list?

No. Despite the fact that Dexamethasone, an active ingredient in Ozurdex, is part of the list of drugs supplied directly by SUS, its version in intraocular injectable solution, used in the drug Ozurdex, is not available.

There is distribution only in the form of ointment, cream, ophthalmic suspension and elixir.

However, there is the possibility of filing a judicial request, requesting coverage by the State.

In general, it is necessary to present the medical prescription and documents that prove the need to use the medication.

The list of ANS, on the other hand, is the list of minimum procedures (exams, surgeries, consultations) that health plans are obliged to cover for their clients.

The treatment of ophthalmic problems using an Intravitreal Implant is on that list.

How to obtain by health plan

The Pharmacological Polymer Intravitreal Implant as a therapeutic resource is included in the ANS List. Thus, health plans must cover them.

However, if they refuse to cover treatment with Ozurdex, their clients can try to get the cost of medication under the plan, through a lawsuit.

For this, it is necessary to seek the assistance of legal advisors.

The process will be analyzed considering the indications for use of the package insert and the diagnosis of each patient.

How to budget Ozurdex?

For cases in which the SUS, for some reason, does not provide medication, it is possible to go to court requesting coverage of treatment by the State.

For this, it is necessary to open a judicial process with the information:

  • Medical report;
  • Exams;
  • Application;
  • Budget in 3 different pharmacies.

For the realization of the quotation, it is possible to obtain assistance in advising on the quotation of high-cost drugs , which makes a personalized quote simply and quickly.

Diseases related to vision loss have a major impact on the lives of those who suffer from the problem.

Thus, more and more medications have been developed, seeking the cure and recovery of the proper functioning of the ocular region.

This is the case of Ozurdex, which can help in cases of edema and inflammation.

The Healthy Minute has other content about medicines and health for you! Read more and stay informed!