Pegaptanib belongs to the class of medications called antivascular endothelial growth factors. It is used to treat "wet," age-related macular degeneration, a condition where blood vessels behind the retina start to grow and leak blood and fluid. This causes damage to the macula (the centre of the retina) and results in central vision loss that can occur quickly. Pegaptanib helps to slow down vision loss and may improve vision by stopping the growth and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Macugen is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under pegaptanib. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
This medication is given by injection into the eye by your doctor (usually an eye doctor) under a local anesthetic.
The usual dose of pegaptanib is 0.3 mg injected into the eye once every 6 weeks. Your doctor may ask you to use antibiotic eye drops for a few days before and after each injection to prevent infection.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive pegaptanib, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
Store this medication in the refrigerator and do not allow it to freeze. It should be protected from light and kept out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Do not use this medication if you:
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Eye problems: Pegaptanib can cause eye problems after injections such as infection of the inside part of the eye; pain, redness, or inflammation; detachment or tear of the retina; or clouding of the lens. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
Increased eye pressure: Pegaptanib can increase the pressure in the eye for a short period of time after it is injected. Your doctor will do tests to make sure the pressure in your eye is not elevated persistently after treatment.
Kidney and liver problems: If you have decreased kidney or liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Vision problems: Pegaptanib can cause temporary vision problems, which may affect the ability to drive or operate machines. If you experience vision problems, do not drive or operate machines until your vision returns to normal.
Pregnancy: The medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if pegaptanib passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Macugen