Macugen is a new treatment for neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration. The wet form of macular degeneration is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina that leak blood and cause damage to the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells. Macugen is the first in a new class of drugs that works by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that promotes blood vessel growth.
Who is Macugen for?
Macugen has the potential to help all patients with the wet form of macular degeneration, including those who could not benefit from photodynamic therapy.
What to expect on treatment day
Macugen is a drug that is injected into the eye every six weeks. This can be done in a doctor’s office. Before your treatment, the area around your eye will be treated with an antibiotic and your eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops.
In clinical trials, adverse reactions due to Macugen were mild. With an injection, there’s always a small risk of infection. You should notify your doctor if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, painful, or if you notice a change in vision. Macugen can slow vision loss, but does not restore vision that has already been lost.