Why is this medicine 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 may 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 blockage of blood flow from the eye that leads to blurry vision and vision loss), diabetic macular edema (an eye disease caused by diabetes that can lead to vision loss), and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the eyes caused by diabetes). Aflibercept injection is also used to treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP; an eye disease that occurs in premature infants that can lead to vision loss and blindness). 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 eye(s) that may cause vision loss in people with certain eye conditions.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Aflibercept injection comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected into the eye by a doctor. It is usually given in a doctor's office or healthcare facility. Your doctor will give you injections on a schedule that is best for you and your condition.
Before you receive an aflibercept injection, your doctor will clean your eye to prevent infection and numb your eye to reduce discomfort during the injection. After your 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 carefully to see how well aflibercept injection works for you. Talk to your doctor about how long you should continue treatment with aflibercept injection.
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 breast-feeding. You should not become pregnant right 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 you receive the injection. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until your vision is back 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 to take a dose?
If you miss an appointment to receive aflibercept injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
What should I do in case of 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 has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What side effects can this medicine 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
- blurred vision
- 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 medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your response to aflibercept injection.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about aflibercept injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.