Anti-VEGF drug use in the eye

Jamaica Gleaner - - WORLD SIGHT DAY -

ANTI-VEGF DRUGS have been used in the eye for over a decade. It has been used mainly for Age Re­lated Mac­ula De­gen­er­a­tion (ARMD), an age­ing change in the cen­tral vi­sion (mac­ula), usu­ally seen in Cau­casian pop­u­la­tions. ARMD presents with dis­tor­tion (meta­mor­phop­sia) in the read­ing vi­sion as letters and words may seem dis­torted or jum­bled.

Anti-VEGF drugs have rev­o­lu­tionised the treat­ment of some mac­u­lar con­di­tions in the eye, such as in Di­a­betic Retinopa­thy (Mac­u­lopa­thy) and reti­nal vein oc­clu­sions. The Anti-VEGF drugs most com­monly used in the eye in­clude Be­va­cizumab (Avastin), Ranibizumab (Lu­cen­tis) and Afil­ber­cept (Eylea).

Its in­di­ca­tions and uses have in­creased over the years from reti­nal vas­cu­lar prob­lems to a special type of glau­coma (rubeotic glau­coma; due to growth of new Leak­ing blood ves­sel.

ves­sels), which is usu­ally seen in di­a­betic pa­tients. It is given as an in­jec­tion di­rectly into the vit­re­ous gel of the eye (in­trav­it­real in­jec­tion).

The drugs act against the body’s vas­cu­lar en­dothe­lial growth fac­tor (VEGF), which causes the de­vel­op­ment of ab­nor­mal blood ves­sels in the eye that dam­age the retina whether by leak­age or bleed­ing. The Anti-VEGF drugs can get rid of these new ves­sels and leak­age.

How­ever, the ef­fect of the drugs lasts for four weeks and may need to be re­peated on a monthly ba­sis un­til the con­di­tion re­solves. Pa­tients may re­quire three monthly in­jec­tions to sta­bilise the con­di­tion, de­pend­ing on the dis­ease sever­ity. It is very ef­fec­tive in di­a­betic eye dis­ease (di­a­betic mac­ula oedema: swelling at the back of the eye). An Op­ti­cal Co­her­ence To­mo­gram (OCT), a special retina scan or OCT an­giogram would be re­quired to mon­i­tor its ef­fec­tive­ness. It is very im­por­tant that the pa­tient con­trols their di­a­betes dur­ing and af­ter the treat­ments.

Anti-VEGF drug use in the eye.

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