Macugen

Macugen treats an eye disease called macular degeneration. Can cause blurred vision and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Macugen Overview

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Macugen is a prescription medication used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Macugen belongs to a group of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonists. These work by stopping abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye(s) that may cause vision loss in people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the eye by a healthcare professional once every six weeks.

Common side effects of Macugen include punctate keratitis (inflammation on the surface of the cornea), vitreous floaters or  opacities (small particles in the field of vision), eye pain, and increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). 

Macugen can also cause blurred vision and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Macugen affects you.

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Macugen Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Macugen

Macugen is a prescription medication used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Macugen Drug Class

Macugen is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Macugen

Serious side effects have been reported with Macugen. See the “Macugen Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Macugen include the following:

  • anterior chamber inflammation (inflammation of the fluid-filled space between the iris, the colored part of the eye and the clear outer layer of the eye, cornea) 
  • blurred vision 
  • cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye) 
  • conjunctival hemorrhage (bloodshot eye) 
  • corneal edema (swelling of the clear outer layer of the eye) 
  • eye discharge
  • eye irritation
  • eye pain
  • high blood pressure
  • increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye)
  • eye discomfort
  • punctate keratitis (inflammation of the surface of the cornea, clear outer layer of the eye) 
  • reduced visual acuity
  • visual disturbances
  • vision loss
  • vitreous floaters or opacities (small particles in the field of vision)

This is not a complete list of Macugen side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Macugen Interactions

No drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Macugen Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Macugen including the following:

  • Endophthalmitis (inflammation of the inner coats of the eye due to an infection). In the days following Macugen administration, patients are at risk for developing endophthalmitis. Please seek immediate medical care If you experience any of the following: eye redness, sensitivity to light, eye pain, or changes in vision. 
  • Increases in intraocular pressure. Increases in the pressure inside the eye have been seen within 30 minutes of injection with Macugen. Your doctor should monitor you appropriately. 
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction): Please seek immediate medical care if you experience any of the following soon after the injection: sudden onset of breathing difficulty or wheezing, swollen mouth, face, hands or feet, itching skin, fainting, rapid pulse, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Macugen can cause blurred vision and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Macugen affects you.

Do not take Macugen if you:

  • are allergic to Macugen or to any of its ingredients 
  • have an eye infection in or around the eye 

Macugen Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Macugen, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Macugen, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you

  • are allergic to Macugen or to any of its ingredients
  • have an eye infection in or around the eye
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems or are undergoing hemodialysis treatment
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding or are planning to become pregnant or breastfeed

​Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Macugen and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
 
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
 
Macugen falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Macugen. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.
 
 

Macugen and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if Macugen crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Macugen. 

Macugen Usage

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the eye by a healthcare professional once every six weeks.

Before the treatment is given your eye doctor may ask you to use antibiotic eye drops, or to wash your eyes carefully. Please follow these instructions carefully.

After each injection your doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops or another type of antibiotic treatment to prevent an eye infection.

If you miss a dose, be sure to make a follow up appointment.

Macugen Dosage

The recommended dose of Macugen (pegaptanib) is 0.3 mg and is injected into the eye once every six weeks.

Macugen Overdose

If Macugen is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
 
 

Other Requirements

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will need to examine your eyes to see if you are developing serious side effects during the week following the injection.