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Generic Name: pegaptanib ophthalmic injection (peg AP ta nib off THAL mik in JEK tion)
Brand Names: Macugen

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 4, 2019.

What is Macugen?

Macugen (pegaptanib) 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.

Macugen is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration.

Macugen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not receive Macugen if you are allergic to pegaptanib, or if you have cataracts or glaucoma, or any type of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection 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 taking this medicine

You should not receive Macugen if you are allergic to pegaptanib, or if you have any type of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection in or around your eyes.

FDA pregnancy category B. Macugen is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether pegaptanib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Macugen without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Macugen?

Macugen 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.

Macugen is usually given once every 6 weeks. 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 Macugen injection.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Macugen injection dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Macugen for Macular Degeneration:

Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration: 0.3 mg by intravitreous injection into the affected eye once every 6 weeks.

The procedure should be carried out under controlled aseptic conditions. Anesthesia and a broad-spectrum microbicide should be administered before the injection.

What should I avoid?

Macugen may cause blurred vision. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

Macugen side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Macugen: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your 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;

  • eyes being more sensitive to light;

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

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

Less serious Macugen side effects may include:

  • 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 Macugen?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on Macugen 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.

Further information

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

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