Aflibercept Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Aflibercept injection is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD; an ongoing disease of the eye that causes loss of the ability to see straight ahead and can make it more difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities ). It is also used to treat macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (an eye disease caused by blocked blood flow from the eye leading to blurred vision and loss of vision), diabetic macular edema (an eye disease caused by diabetes which can lead to vision). loss) and diabetic retinopathy (eye damage caused by diabetes). Aflibercept injection is in a class of medications called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and placental growth factor (PlGF) antagonists. It works by stopping abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eyes that can cause vision loss in people with certain eye conditions.
How should this medicine be used?
Aflibercept injection comes as a solution (liquid) that a doctor must inject into the eye. It is usually given in a doctor’s office. Your doctor will give you the injections at a time that is best for you and your condition.
Before you receive an injection of aflibercept, your doctor will clean your eye to prevent infection and numb it to reduce discomfort during the injection. After the injection, your doctor will need to examine your eyes before you leave the office.
Aflibercept injection controls certain eye conditions, but does not cure them. Your doctor will watch you closely to see how well aflibercept injection works for you. Talk to your doctor about how long to continue treatment with aflibercept injection.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving aflibercept injection,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aflibercept, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in aflibercept injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- Tell your doctor if you have an infection or swelling in or around the eye. Your doctor will probably tell you that you should not receive aflibercept injection.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You should not become pregnant just before or during your treatment with aflibercept injection. Use effective birth control before and during your treatment, and for 3 months after your final dose. If you become pregnant while receiving aflibercept injection, call your doctor.
- You should know that aflibercept injection may cause vision problems shortly after receiving the injection. Don’t drive a car or operate machinery until your vision returns to normal.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss an appointment to receive aflibercept injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Aflibercept injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- feeling that something is in your eye
- teary eyes
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- eye redness or pain
- eye sensitivity to light
- decrease or changes in vision
- bleeding in or around the eye
- seeing ”floaters” or small specks
- injection site pain
- seeing flashes of lights
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- slow or difficult speech
- dizziness or faintness
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Aflibercept injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about injecting aflibercept.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.