Verteporfin

Generic Name: verteporfin (VER-te-POR-fin)
Brand Name: Visudyne

Verteporfin is used for:

Treating macular degeneration, a certain type of nearsightedness (pathologic myopia), or a certain fungal infection (histoplasmosis) of the eye. It is used in combination with laser light therapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

It works by causing clotting in the blood vessels of the eye, which decreases damage already done in the eye.

Do NOT use verteporfin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in verteporfin
  • you have the blood disease porphyria

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using verteporfin:

Some medical conditions may interact with verteporfin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems or gallbladder problems (eg, blockage)
  • if you are receiving radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with verteporfin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Calcium channel blockers (eg, verapamil), griseofulvin, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), polymyxin B, sulfonamides (eg, sulfamethoxazole), sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide), tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline), or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because they may increase the risk of verteporfin's side effects
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aspirin, beta-carotene (eg, vitamin A), dimethyl sulfoxide, formate, or mannitol because they may decrease the effectiveness of verteporfin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if verteporfin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use verteporfin:

Use verteporfin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Verteporfin is administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about verteporfin.
  • If you miss a dose of verteporfin, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use verteporfin.

Important safety information:

  • Verteporfin may cause blurred vision or other vision changes. Use verteporfin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while you are using verteporfin.
  • Verteporfin causes sensitivity to bright light for 5 days following treatment. Avoid exposure of the skin or eyes to sunlight, sunlamps, tanning booths, bright halogen lighting, and all other bright, indoor light for 5 days following treatment with verteporfin. Use of a sunscreen is not effective protection. Wear protective clothing over all skin and dark sunglasses if you must be outside, even for a short period of time. Exposure to normal amounts of indoor light will help remove verteporfin from your skin. Do not protect your skin from normal amounts of indoor light. If you have questions about whether the light in your home is too bright, check with your doctor.
  • Avoid surgery or dental procedures during the 5 days following infusion of verteporfin.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take verteporfin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Avoid getting verteporfin on the skin or in the eyes.
  • Your doctor will examine your eyes 3 months after you receive verteporfin to decide if you need another treatment.
  • Verteporfin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using verteporfin while you are pregnant. Verteporfin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking verteporfin.

Possible side effects of verteporfin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; dry eyes; headache; mild discomfort or redness at the injection site; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; dizziness; eye redness, itching, or discharge; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; flushing; hearing problems; increased sweating; joint pain; muscle weakness; pain, redness, bleeding, discoloration, or swelling at the injection site; sensitivity to bright light lasting more than 5 days after your dose; severe or persistent headache; shortness of breath; skin rash or severe sunburn; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes (eg, blurred vision, flashes of light, vision loss).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of verteporfin:

Verteporfin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep verteporfin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about verteporfin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Verteporfin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take verteporfin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about verteporfin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to verteporfin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using verteporfin.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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