Generic Name(s): pegaptanib ophthalmic injection
Drug Class: vascular endothelial growth factor directed antibody
Treats: macular degeneration of the eye
Macugen (pegaptanib) is a drug often prescribed to treat macular degeneration, a disorder related to the retina of the eye. Macugen is a Category B pregnancy drug, meaning that it has not been known to indicate any risk to individuals. Macugen is an ophthalmic anti-angiogenic, or vascular endothelial growth factor directed antibody used to slow the growth of blood vessels in the eye.
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Macugen works by preventing the formation of new numbers of blood vessels beneath the retina of the eye, where they can potentially release blood and/or fluid. This can sometimes be referred to as an eye disease known as the wet form of the eye disorder macular degeneration.
Macugen may also be used for other purposes as prescribed by a trusted healthcare provider. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the component of Macugen before beginning treatment.
- Macular degeneration of the eye
Macugen is administered in an intravenous injected via the eye. This medication should be used as prescribed by a doctor. If you require Macugen intravitreal injections, you may need to have a dose administered once for every six weeks. Macugen should be closely observed for any abnormalities such as discoloration or large particle matter visible in the syringe. Do not use this medication if you feel something is wrong with it, or you feel it may have been tampered with.
Note that the following procedure should only be administered by a professional physician nurse.
- To administer a dose of Macugen, remove the syringe from its plastic container and prepare sterile gloves, sterile eyelid speculum and drape.
- Do not use the syringe if the plastic clip is not adhered to the syringe, or it is missing from your package.
- Remove the syringe and remove the cap.
- Attach the needle by screwing it into the top of the syringe piece.
- Check for bubbles inside while holding the syringe pointed upward.
- Tap the syringe (directed up) until the bubbles rise to the tip.
- Carefully press the plunger to eliminate the bubbles, continuing until the top edge is in line with the third ring from the top of your syringe.
- Proceed to safely inject the contents of the syringe.
Macugen Side Effects
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects, or signs of an allergic reaction, as these can be serious to health. Check with your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following side effects, especially if they do not subside, become bothersome or worsen:
- Difficulty urinating
- Vision changes
- Itching eyes
- Sensitivity to lights
- Swelling in the eye
- Opaque vision
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Pain in the bladder region
- Distorted colors
- Fluid draining from the eyes
- Becoming blind at night
- Trouble breathing
- Pain in the lower back or sides
The following symptoms are not known to be common. However, you should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following, or they persist over a prolonged period:
- Decrease in urination
- Chest aches, pains
- Eye irritation
- Dry mouth
- Stomach ache
- Weight loss
- Weakness in one side of the body
Tell your doctor if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the body, rapid heartbeat, or hives.
Not a lot of interactions are known to exist with the use of Macugen. Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, or dietary supplements, as these may interact with this drug. Also, tell your doctor if you have previously taken certain medications to treat different eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
Also, tell your doctor if you are currently taking medications to treat chronic gout, as these have been known to interfere with the use of Macugen. This has been known to lead to high amounts of antibodies in the body which may result in the decreased efficacy of Macugen. Also tell your healthcare provider of any eye medications, such as pegloticase, you may be taken, or have taken recently.
- Other eye medications
- Medications for gout