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Macugen

Generic Name: pegaptanib (Intraocular route)

peg-AP-ta-nib

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Macugen

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent

Uses For Macugen

Pegaptanib is used to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disorder of the retina of the eye that causes blurring of vision or blindness .

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This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using Macugen

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of pegaptanib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pegaptanib in the elderly .

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Eye infection—Pegaptanib should NOT be used in patients with an infection in or around the eye .
  • Glaucoma—This medicine may increase eye pressure after injection. Your doctor will monitor your eye pressure during the week after every injection .

Proper Use of Macugen

A doctor will give you this medicine. Pegaptanib is given through a shot into your eye. .

Precautions While Using Macugen

Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you receive this medicine .

Serious eye problems may occur after treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor immediately if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, painful or develops a change in vision several days after your treatment.

Macugen Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Bladder pain
  • blindness
  • bloody eye
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • cough producing mucus
  • decreased vision or other changes in vision
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty breathing
  • discharge, excessive tearing
  • disturbed color perception
  • double vision
  • drainage from eyes
  • eye pain
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • gradual loss of vision
  • halos around lights
  • itching of eyelid
  • looking through water
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea
  • night blindness
  • overbright appearance of lights
  • painful irritation of the clear front part of the eye
  • redness, pain, swelling of eye, eyelid, or inner lining of eyelid
  • seeing flashes or sparks of light
  • seeing floating spots before the eyes
  • shortness of breath
  • sore eyes
  • swelling of the eye
  • tightness in chest
  • tunnel vision
  • vomiting
  • wheezing
Less Common
  • Bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • change in vision not present before treatment
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • eye irritation
  • fatigue
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • headache
  • hearing loss
  • inability to speak
  • increased hunger
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • loss of consciousness
  • numbness or tingling in face, arms, or legs
  • seeing floaters, veil or curtain appearing across part of vision
  • seizures
  • sensation of spinning
  • severe or sudden headache
  • slurred speech
  • stomachache
  • sweating
  • temporary blindness
  • trouble speaking, thinking, or walking
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness in arm and/or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
Incidence not determined
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives
  • itching
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • skin rash
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Diarrhea
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of skin
  • bruise
  • difficulty in moving
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, swelling of skin
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain, swelling, or redness in joints
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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