Wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) treatment

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Without treatment, wAMD can lead to functional blindness. But there are treatments that can help slow the disease. In some cases, these treatments can improve vision. These treatments include:

These treatments target one or more of the proteins that stimulate growth of the leaky vessels in the eye. These treatments have been shown to slow down the progression of wAMD in many people and, in some cases, improve vision by reducing the growth of new blood vessels and decreasing leakage. Eye injections are generally very well tolerated, but side effects can include bloodshot eye, blurred vision, increased pressure inside the eye and others. Patients may require multiple treatments. Your eye care specialist, such as an ophthalmologist or a retina specialist, will help determine if an anti-VEGF is right for you.

For PDT, a light-activated drug is injected into the arm and travels through the blood stream, including the new blood vessels in the eye. A light is shone on to the affected part of the eye to activate the drug, and the fragile, leaky blood vessels are destroyed. PDT can slow the progression of wAMD, slow or stop the growth of the area containing the abnormal blood vessels and reduce or stop the leakage. In addition, patients may need to stay out of the sun for several days until the drug has passed through the body, results are often temporary, and patients may require multiple treatments. PDT is not appropriate for all types of wAMD, so talk to your doctor to find out if PDT is a treatment option for you.

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Treatment options
Anti-VEGF treatment-EYLEA®Toggle show/hide. Screen reader users, all text is available without show hide.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection).
EYLEA® blocks VEGF-A and PGF, proteins that play an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of wAMD. EYLEA® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.).
Once a month for the first three months then once every two months for the first twelve months of treatment. Based on examination by your doctor, you may be prescribed an injection every month after the first three months. After the first 12 months of treatment, EYLEA® may be administered up to once every three months based on your doctor's assessment.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects:Bloodshot eye, eye pain. Common side effects: Decreased sharpness of vision, clouding of the lens, damage to the front layer of the eye, increase in eye pressure, blurred vision, moving spots in vision, detachment of the gel like substance inside the eye (vitreous) from the retina, a feeling of having something in the eye, increased tear production, swelling of the eyelid, pain or bleeding at the injection site, and redness of the eye. Serious side effects: In clinical studies, serious side effects such as infection or inflammation inside the eye, sudden loss or change of sharpness of vision (detachment or tear of retina), increase of pressure inside the eye, clouding of the lens (cataract) and detachment of the gel-like substance inside the eye from the retina (vitreous detachment) occurred in less than 1 in every 1,000 injections.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection)
LUCENTIS® blocks VEGF-A, a protein that plays an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of wAMD. LUCENTIS® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.). LUCENTIS® helps to stop the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye, abnormal processes that contribute to several eye diseases that may cause decreased vision.
Once a month for the first three months. Afterwards, your doctor will continue to monitor your vision and the frequency of dosing can be between one and three months. LUCENTIS® given every 3 months was not as effective as when given once a month in clinical trials.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects in the eye:Bloodshot eye, eye pain, small particles or spots in your vision, increased pressure inside the eye, displacement of the jelly-like portion inside the eye (vitreous body), swelling of the eye, blurred vision, eye irritation, clouding of the lens, a feeling of having something in the eye, visual disturbance, swelling or infection of the eyelid margin, formation of fibrous tissue under the retina, redness of the eye, blurred or decreased sharpness of vision, dry eye, inflammation of the jelly-like portion inside the eye, temporary blindness, increased tear production, itching of the eye, detachment of a layer of the retina. Common side effects in the eye:Discomfort of the eye, clouding of a part of the lens, deposits in the back of the eye, infection of the surface of the eye, changes in the part of the retina responsible for central vision, bleeding in the back of the eye, degeneration of the retina, small scratches on the cornea (front part of the eye), bleeding in the eye or at the site of injection, tear or detachment of the retina, redness of the eye, light sensitivity, swelling of the eyelid, eyelid pain, eye discharge and bleeding in the jelly-like portion inside the eye. Serious side effects:Occasionally an infection in the internal portion of the eye, detachment or tear of the retina, or clouding of the lens may occur in the two weeks after LUCENTIS® treatment. Other side effects include pain or redness and increased eye pressure.
VISUDYNE® is injected into a vein, usually in the arm, and travels to the abnormal blood vessels in the eye. After a few minutes, the doctor shines a non-thermal laser on the affected area of the eye to activate VISUDYNE®. This starts a chemical process that destroys the abnormal vessels growing in the macula and has been shown to slow vision loss from wAMD, slow or stop the growth of the areas containing the abnormal blood vessels and reduce or stop their leakage.
Your doctor will calculate the correct dose to give you, based on your body surface area.
VISUDYNE® is injected into a vein, usually in the arm. After a few minutes, the doctor shines a non-thermal laser on the affected areas of the eye to activate VISUDYNE®.
Common side effectsChanges in vision including blurring, decreased sharpness, flashes of light and gaps or 'spider webs' in vision were among the most frequent+ly reported side effects. Temporary musculoskeletal pain occurring often as chest and back pain which can radiate to other areas including the pelvis, shoulder girdle or ribs. Weakness, nausea, constipation, hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol or urinary glucose, dry, itchy or painful eyes, aversion to light, decrease in pain or touch sensitivity, sunburn or increased sensitivity to the sun and injection site reactions (e.g., pain, swelling, blisters and discolouration). Serious side effects: Severe vision decrease, changes in the visual field, hypersensitivity (allergic reactions) and injection site reactions.
VEGF=vascular endothelial growth factor; PlGF=placental growth factor.
Anti-VEGF treatment-EYLEA®Toggle show/hide. Screen reader users, all text is available without show hide.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection)
EYLEA® blocks VEGF-A and PGF, proteins that play an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the macular edema (swelling) that is seen with DME. EYLEA® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.).
Once a month for the first five months then you may be given injections once every two months. Based on examination by your doctor, you may be prescribed an injection every month after the first five months.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye
Very common side effects:Bloodshot eye, eye pain. Common side effects: Decreased sharpness of vision, clouding of the lens, damage to the front layer of the eye, increase in eye pressure, blurred vision, moving spots in vision, detachment of the gel like substance inside the eye (vitreous) from the retina, a feeling of having something in the eye, increased tear production, swelling of the eyelid, pain or bleeding at the injection site, and redness of the eye. Serious side effects: In clinical studies, serious side effects due to the injection procedure, including retinal detachment, occurred in 1 out of 5,940 injections.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection).
LUCENTIS® blocks VEGF-A, a protein that plays an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of DME. LUCENTIS® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.). LUCENTIS® helps to stop the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye, abnormal processes that contribute to several eye diseases that may cause decreased vision.
Once a month. If your vision remains the same while you are being given LUCENTIS® treatment, your doctor may decide to stop the treatment with LUCENTIS®. Your doctor will continue to monitor your vision monthly and will decide if treatment with LUCENTIS® should be resumed or not. Your doctor may decide that you also need to be treated with laser; if so, laser treatment can be administered together with LUCENTIS®.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects in the eye:Bloodshot eye, eye pain, small particles or spots in your vision, increased pressure inside the eye, displacement of the jelly-like portion inside the eye (vitreous body), swelling of the eye, blurred vision, eye irritation, clouding of the lens, a feeling of having something in the eye, visual disturbance, swelling or infection of the eyelid margin, formation of fibrous tissue under the retina, redness of the eye, blurred or decreased sharpness of vision, dry eye, inflammation of the jelly-like portion inside the eye, temporary blindness, increased tear production, itching of the eye, detachment of a layer of the retina. Common side effects in the eye:Discomfort of the eye, clouding of a part of the lens, deposits in the back of the eye, infection of the surface of the eye, changes in the part of the retina responsible for central vision, bleeding in the back of the eye, degeneration of the retina, small scratches on the cornea (front part of the eye), bleeding in the eye or at the site of injection, tear or detachment of the retina, redness of the eye, light sensitivity, swelling of the eyelid, eyelid pain, eye discharge and bleeding in the jelly-like portion inside the eye. Serious side effects:Occasionally an infection in the internal portion of the eye, detachment or tear of the retina, or clouding of the lens may occur in the two weeks after LUCENTIS® treatment. Other side effects include pain or redness and increased eye pressure.
A laser is used to create small burns in areas of the retina where abnormal blood vessels have formed to try to seal the leaks.
The procedure is usually completed in one session but further treatment may be needed. If you require laser treatment to both eyes, they will be treated one at a time, usually several weeks apart.
The pupil is dilated, the eye is numbed and then laser is applied to the eye.
With this procedure, some side vision may be lost in order to safeguard central vision and scarring of the macula and additional vision loss may occur.
A small implant given by injection into the back of the eye. It can only be used if you have already had an operation for cataract.
By reducing swelling of the macula, the steroid helps to lessen or prevent more damage to the macula. It also reduces the inflammation of the back of the eye.
The usual dose is one implant to be given by injection into your eye. Six months after the injection and depending on the effect of OZURDEX®, your doctor may or may not want to give you a subsequent OZURDEX® injection.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug implant is injected into the eye
Very common side effects:Increased pressure in the eye, clouding of the lens (cataract) and bleeding on the surface of the eye.* Common side effects:High pressure in the eye, bleeding into the inside of the eye*, vitreous detachment, a feeling of spots in front of the eye (including 'floaters')*, a feeling of looking through mist or fog*, eye pain and swelling on the surface of the eye*. *Some of these side effects may be caused by the injection procedure and not the OZURDEX® implant itself.
VEGF=vascular endothelial growth factor; PlGF=placental growth factor.
Anti-VEGF treatment-EYLEA®Toggle show/hide. Screen reader users, all text is available without show hide.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection).
EYLEA® blocks VEGF-A and PGF, proteins that play an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of CRVO. EYLEA® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.).
From once a month to once every three months based on examination by a doctor.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects:Bloodshot eye, eye pain. Common side effects: Decreased sharpness of vision, clouding of the lens, damage to the front layer of the eye, increase in eye pressure, blurred vision, moving spots in vision, detachment of the gel like substance inside the eye (vitreous) from the retina, a feeling of having something in the eye, increased tear production, swelling of the eyelid, pain or bleeding at the injection site, and redness of the eye. Serious side effects: In clinical studies, serious side effects due to the injection procedure, including endophthalmitis, cataract and vitreous detachment, occurred in 3 out of 2,728 injections.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection)
LUCENTIS® blocks VEGF-A, a protein that plays an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of CRVO. LUCENTIS® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.). LUCENTIS® helps to stop the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye, abnormal processes that contribute to several eye diseases that may cause decreased vision.
Once a month. If your vision remains the same while you are being given LUCENTIS® treatment, your doctor may decide to stop the treatment with LUCENTIS®. Your doctor will continue to monitor your vision monthly and will decide if treatment with LUCENTIS® should be resumed or not. Your doctor may decide that you also need to be treated with laser; if so, laser treatment can be administered together with LUCENTIS®.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects in the eye:Bloodshot eye, eye pain, small particles or spots in your vision, increased pressure inside the eye, displacement of the jelly-like portion inside the eye (vitreous body), swelling of the eye, blurred vision, eye irritation, clouding of the lens, a feeling of having something in the eye, visual disturbance, swelling or infection of the eyelid margin, formation of fibrous tissue under the retina, redness of the eye, blurred or decreased sharpness of vision, dry eye, inflammation of the jelly-like portion inside the eye, temporary blindness, increased tear production, itching of the eye, detachment of a layer of the retina. Common side effects in the eye:Discomfort of the eye, clouding of a part of the lens, deposits in the back of the eye, infection of the surface of the eye, changes in the part of the retina responsible for central vision, bleeding in the back of the eye, degeneration of the retina, small scratches on the cornea (front part of the eye), bleeding in the eye or at the site of injection, tear or detachment of the retina, redness of the eye, light sensitivity, swelling of the eyelid, eyelid pain, eye discharge and bleeding in the jelly-like portion inside the eye. Serious side effects:Occasionally an infection in the internal portion of the eye, detachment or tear of the retina, or clouding of the lens may occur in the two weeks after LUCENTIS® treatment. Other side effects include pain or redness and increased eye pressure.
A laser is used to create small burns in areas of the retina where abnormal blood vessels have formed to try to seal the leaks.
The procedure is usually completed in one session but further treatment may be needed. If you require laser treatment to both eyes, they will be treated one at a time, usually several weeks apart.
The pupil is dilated, the eye is numbed and then laser is applied to the eye.
With this procedure, some side vision may be lost in order to safeguard central vision and scarring of the macula and additional vision loss may occur.
By reducing swelling of the macula, the steroid helps to lessen or prevent more damage to the macula. It also reduces the inflammation of the back of the eye.
The usual dose is one implant to be given by injection into your eye. Six months after the injection and depending on the effect of OZURDEX®, your doctor may or may not want to give you a subsequent OZURDEX® injection.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug implant is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects:Increased pressure in the eye, clouding of the lens (cataract) and bleeding on the surface of the eye.* Common side effects:High pressure in the eye, bleeding into the inside of the eye*, vitreous detachment, a feeling of spots in front of the eye (including 'floaters')*, a feeling of looking through mist or fog*, eye pain and swelling on the surface of the eye*. *Some of these side effects may be caused by the injection procedure and not the OZURDEX® implant itself.
VEGF=vascular endothelial growth factor; PlGF=placental growth factor.
Anti-VEGF treatment-EYLEA®Toggle show/hide. Screen reader users, all text is available without show hide.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection).
EYLEA® blocks VEGF-A and PGF, proteins that play an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of BRVO. EYLEA® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.).
From once a month to once every three months based on examination by a doctor.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects:Bloodshot eye, eye pain. Common side effects: Decreased sharpness of vision, clouding of the lens, damage to the front layer of the eye, increase in eye pressure, blurred vision, moving spots in vision, detachment of the gel like substance inside the eye (vitreous) from the retina, a feeling of having something in the eye, increased tear production, swelling of the eyelid, pain or bleeding at the injection site and redness of the eye. Serious side effects:In clinical studies, serious side effects due to the injection procedure, including cataract, occurred in 1 out of 1,115 injections.
A solution that is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection).
LUCENTIS® blocks VEGF-A, a protein that plays an important role in making the abnormal blood vessels that contribute to the progression of BRVO. LUCENTIS® has been shown to slow down the progression of vision loss, improve vision, as well as the ability to perform related activities (e.g., reading, driving, etc.). LUCENTIS® helps to stop the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye, abnormal processes that contribute to several eye diseases that may cause decreased vision.
Once a month. If your vision remains the same while you are being given LUCENTIS® treatment, your doctor may decide to stop the treatment with LUCENTIS®. Your doctor will continue to monitor your vision monthly and will decide if treatment with LUCENTIS® should be resumed or not. Your doctor may decide that you also need to be treated with laser; if so, laser treatment can be administered together with LUCENTIS®.
The eye is disinfected and numbed and then the drug is injected into the eye.
Very common side effects in the eye:Bloodshot eye, eye pain, small particles or spots in your vision, increased pressure inside the eye, displacement of the jelly-like portion inside the eye (vitreous body), swelling of the eye, blurred vision, eye irritation, clouding of the lens, a feeling of having something in the eye, visual disturbance, swelling or infection of the eyelid margin, formation of fibrous tissue under the retina, redness of the eye, blurred or decreased sharpness of vision, dry eye, inflammation of the jelly-like portion inside the eye, temporary blindness, increased tear production, itching of the eye, detachment of a layer of the retina. Common side effects in the eye:Discomfort of the eye, clouding of a part of the lens, deposits in the back of the eye, infection of the surface of the eye, changes in the part of the retina responsible for central vision, bleeding in the back of the eye, degeneration of the retina, small scratches on the cornea (front part of the eye), bleeding in the eye or at the site of injection, tear or detachment of the retina, redness of the eye, light sensitivity, swelling of the eyelid, eyelid pain, eye discharge and bleeding in the jelly-like portion inside the eye. Serious side effects: Occasionally an infection in the internal portion of the eye, detachment or tear of the retina, or clouding of the lens may occur in the two weeks after LUCENTIS® treatment. Other side effects include pain or redness and increased eye pressure.
A laser is used to create small burns in areas of the retina where abnormal blood vessels have formed to try to seal the leaks.
The procedure is usually completed in one session but further treatment may be needed. If you require laser treatment to both eyes, they will be treated one at a time, usually several weeks apart.
The pupil is dilated, the eye is numbed and then laser is applied to the eye.
With this procedure, some side vision may be lost in order to safeguard central vision and scarring of the macula and additional vision loss may occur.
VEGF=vascular endothelial growth factor; PlGF=placental growth factor.