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Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.


Trade Name(s)

  • carotenoid
  • xanthophyll
  • zeaxanthin

Ther. Class.
ocular agents

Common Uses

  • Prevention of lutein deficiency.
  • Prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa.


Lutein is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties that protect underlying ocular tissues from photodamage.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Decreased risk of development of AMD and cataracts.


Absorption: Unknown.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.

Half-life: Unknown.




Contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity.

Use Cautiously in:

Cystic fibrosis (decreased lutein absorption).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


Endo: carotendermia

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.


Natural Drug Interaction

  • Orlistatmay cause ↓ lutein absorption.
  • Alcohol (↓ plasma lutein), cholestyramine and colestipol (↓ lutein absorption), CYP450-metabolized agents (alters enzyme activity), mineral oil (↓ lutein absorption), nicotine ↓ plasma lutein), retinol (↑ plasma lutein), may interact with agents with similar effects or related mechanisms of action (antidiabetic, antilipemic, antioxidant, antineoplastic), ↓ vitamin E levels.


Concomitant administration with beta-carotenemay reduce bioavailability of lutein.


PO: (Adults)6–20 mg/day.


Softgels: 6 mg, 20 mg


  • Obtain ophthalmic examinations at least yearly during therapy.

Potential Diagnoses


  • PO: Administer capsules once daily.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take as directed.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and to consult with health care professional before taking other medications.
  • Advise female patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Decrease in risk or cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

lutein is a sample topic from the Davis's Drug Guide.

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Quiring, Courtney, et al. "Lutein." Davis's Drug Guide, 16th ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2019. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/109923/all/lutein.
Quiring C, Sanoski CA, Vallerand AH. Lutein. Davis's Drug Guide. 16th ed. F.A. Davis Company; 2019. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/109923/all/lutein. Accessed August 17, 2019.
Quiring, C., Sanoski, C. A., & Vallerand, A. H. (2019). Lutein. In Davis's Drug Guide. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/109923/all/lutein
Quiring C, Sanoski CA, Vallerand AH. Lutein [Internet]. In: Davis's Drug Guide. F.A. Davis Company; 2019. [cited 2019 August 17]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/109923/all/lutein.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - lutein ID - 109923 A1 - Quiring,Courtney, AU - Sanoski,Cynthia A, AU - Vallerand,April Hazard, BT - Davis's Drug Guide UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/109923/all/lutein PB - F.A. Davis Company ET - 16 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -