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Eylea

Generic name: aflibercept ophthalmica-FLIB-er-sept-off-THAL-mik ]
Drug class: Anti-angiogenic ophthalmic agents

Medically reviewed by Sophia Entringer, PharmD. Last updated on Mar 8, 2023.

What is Eylea?

Eylea is made from a human antibody fragment. It works by keeping new blood vessels from forming under the retina (a sensory membrane that lines the inside of the eye). In people with a certain type of eye disease, new blood vessels grow under the retina where they leak blood and fluid. This is known as the "wet form" of macular degeneration.

Eylea is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. It is also used to treat macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, a swelling in the retina caused by a blockage in the blood vessels.

Eylea is also used to treat diabetic retinopathy, an eye disorder in diabetics that can lead to a buildup of fluid in the retina and cause blindness. Eylea can also be used to treat diabetic macular edema, a build-up of fluid in the retina that is caused by leaking blood vessels.

Eylea is also used to treat retinopathy of prematurity, an eye condition of premature babies affecting the retina.

Warnings

You should not use Eylea if you are allergic to aflibercept, or if you have swelling inside your eyes, or any type of infection (bacterial, fungal, viral) in or around your eyes. Call your doctor at once if you have eye pain or redness, swelling or puffiness around your eyes, or sudden vision problems at any time during treatment.

Before using Eylea

You should not use Eylea if you are allergic to aflibercept, or if you have:

  • swelling inside your eyes; or

  • any type of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection in or around your eyes.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a blood clot or stroke; or

  • glaucoma or other condition that increase pressure inside your eyes.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Eylea. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy before your first dose of this medicine. Keep using birth control during treatment and for at least 3 months after your last injection.

Do not breast-feed while you are using Eylea.

How is Eylea given?

Eylea is given as an injection into your eye. Your doctor will use a medicine to numb your eye before giving you the injection. You will receive this injection in your doctor's office or other clinic setting.

For a short time after your injection, your eyes will be checked periodically to make sure the injection has not caused any side effects.

Eylea is usually administered every 4, 8 or 12 weeks, depending on the condition being treated with this medicine. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Eylea injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

Eylea may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you.

Eylea side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Eylea: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • eye pain or redness, swelling around your eyes;

  • sudden vision problems;

  • seeing flashes of light or "floaters" in your vision, seeing halos around lights;

  • your eyes may be more sensitive to light;

  • chest pain;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; or

  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance.

Less serious Eylea side effects may include:

  • red or watery eyes;

  • blurred vision;

  • swelling of the eyelids; or

  • mild eye pain or discomfort after the injection.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Eylea?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on Eylea used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Popular FAQ

Vabysmo (faricimab) targets vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-1, whereas Eylea (afibercept) targets VEGF and placental growth factor (PlGF). Both agents are used to treat conditions such as macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema and are given by intravitreal injection (into the gel part of the eye). Continue reading

Eylea can start to work within 3 months depending on the condition being treated. For some conditions, it may take up to 6 months before a significant difference is seen. Many trials only reported on results after 1 year of treatment and these report significant improvements in vision and the ability to read and see letters more clearly after this length of time for conditions such as Wet AMD, Diabetic macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy. Improvements in vision were maintained for the length of the trial (4 years in some instances). Continue reading

Eylea patents are due to run out from 2023 to 2032; however, these should not be taken as definite dates as there are many ways drug companies can extend their patents, for example, by changing the formulation of their product. In fact, Regeneron recently extended the original patent term of May 23, 2020, to June 16, 2023. Continue reading

Anti-VEGF drugs slow the abnormal growth of blood vessels associated with certain cancers and degenerative eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration. Anti-VEGF stands for anti-vascular endothelial growth factor. Continue reading

Eylea injections into the eye (intravitreal) are associated with a substantial but temporary increase in blood pressure in some patients. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Eylea only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.