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These medicines are injected into the eye by your doctor. Before the injection, your doctor will numb the eye with eye drops.
When wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) develops, weak abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and lead to vision loss. The growth of these vessels is triggered by a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Anti-VEGF medicines block the effects of VEGF. Blocking this protein slows the growth of the abnormal blood vessels. This slows the vision loss linked to wet AMD.
Anti-VEGF medicines are used to slow the vision loss caused by wet AMD. These medicines slow the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leads to wet AMD.
Anti-VEGF medicines can slow the vision loss that is linked to wet AMD.1 They may also improve vision for people with wet AMD.2 Because these medicines are relatively new, long-term effects are not yet known.
The common side effects of bevacizumab, pegaptanib, or ranibizumab injections include:
Ranibizumab (Lucentis) may raise the risk of stroke in elderly people, especially if they have already had a stroke.
Many side effects may be caused by the actual injection procedure rather than the drug itself. For example, the injections have a risk of infection.
Long-term effects of these medicines are not yet known.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
You will likely get the injections on a regular basis, such as once a month.
Other types of anti-VEGF drugs are currently being studied, including some that may be injected into a vein (intravenously) rather than into the eye.
Anti-VEGF medicines may help stop vision loss in people who cannot benefit from other treatments such as laser photocoagulation or photodynamic therapy.
Last Revised: April 8, 2012
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