aflibercept (Intraocular route)
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent
Uses For aflibercept
Aflibercept injection is used to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disorder of the retina in the eye that causes blurred vision or blindness. Aflibercept works by changing the amount of blood that gets to the retina.
Aflibercept injection is also used to treat macular edema after retinal vein occlusion. It is also used to treat diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy in patients with DME. Macular edema is swelling in the back of the eye and may cause vision loss. Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of a blood vessel in the eye. Swelling can occur when the blood vessel is blocked.
aflibercept is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before Using aflibercept
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 aflibercept, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to aflibercept 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.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of aflibercept injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of aflibercept injection in the elderly.
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. When you are receiving aflibercept, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using aflibercept with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Varicella Virus Vaccine
Using aflibercept with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Adenovirus Vaccine
- Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
- Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
- Smallpox Vaccine
- Typhoid Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
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 aflibercept. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood clots, history of or
- Detached retina (eye disorder) or
- Endophthalmitis (inflammation of the eye) or
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Eye infection—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
Proper Use of aflibercept
An eye doctor will give you aflibercept as a shot into the eye.
Precautions While Using aflibercept
Your eye doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few days after you receive aflibercept.
If you are a woman who can bear children, use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose of aflibercept. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Serious eye problems may occur with aflibercept. Check with your eye doctor right away if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, or painful, or if you see flashes or sparks of light, have a change in vision, or feel increased pressure in the eye several days after the injection.
aflibercept may increase your risk of blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have pain in your chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves, difficulty with breathing, a severe, sudden headache, slurred speech, a sudden loss of coordination, severe weakness or numbness in your arm or leg, or vision changes.
aflibercept may cause temporary blurred vision. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well.
aflibercept 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
- bloody eye
- blurred vision
- eye or eyelid redness
- eye pain
- seeing flashes, sparks of light, or a veil or curtain
- seeing floating spots before the eyes
- vision changes
- Bleeding or pain at the injection site
- swelling of the eyelid
- Fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, rash, or skin redness
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- swelling of the face, lips, hands, or feet
- troubled breathing or swallowing
- Pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
- severe, sudden headache
- slurred speech
- sudden loss of coordination
- sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
- sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
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:Less common
- Feeling like something is in the eye
- watery eyes
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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