Intravitreal injection


An intravitreal injection is a shot of medicine into the eye. The inside of the eye is filled with a jelly-like fluid (vitreous). During this procedure, your health care provider injects medicine into the vitreous, near the retina at the back of the eye. The medicine can treat certain eye problems and help protect your vision. This method is most often used to get a higher level of medicine to the retina.

Alternative Names

Antibiotic - intravitreal injection; Triamcinolone - intravitreal injection; Dexamethasone - intravitreal injection; Lucentis - intravitreal injection; Avastin - intravitreal injection; Bevacizumab - intravitreal injection; Ranibizumab - intravitreal injection; Anti-VEGF medicines - intravitreal injection; Macular edema - intravitreal injection; Retinopathy - intravitreal injection; Retinal vein occlusion - intravitreal injection


The procedure is done in your provider's office. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

You may have this procedure if you have:

Sometimes, an intravitreal injection of antibiotics and steroids is given as part of routine cataract surgery. This avoids having to use drops after surgery.


Side effects are rare, and many can be managed. They may include:

Discuss the risks of specific medicines used in your eye with your provider.

Before the Procedure

Tell your provider about:

After the Procedure

Following the procedure:

Report any eye pain or discomfort, redness, sensitivity to light, or changes in your vision to your provider right away.

Schedule a follow-up appointment with your provider as directed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Your outlook depends mostly on the condition being treated. Your vision may remain stable or improve after the procedure. You may need more than one injection.


American Academy of Ophthalmology. Age-related macular degeneration PPP - updated 2015. web site. Updated January 2015. Accessed January 19, 2017.

Kent C. Antibiotics & cataract surgery: new frontiers. Review of ophthalmology. Reviewofophthalmology web site. Updated April 15, 2015. Accessed January 19, 2017.

Mitchell P, Wong TY; Diabetic Macular Edema Treatment Guideline Working Group. Management paradigms for diabetic macular edema. Am J Ophthalmol. 2014;157(3):505-513. PMID: 24269850

Sanborn GE, Magargal LE. Venous occusive disease of the retina. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:vol 3; chap 15.