FDA-approved treatments for AMD
Currently, there are several FDA-approved treatment options for patients with macular degeneration. A common expectation on these AMD treatments is to preserve or even improve the remaining vision. Today, age related macular degeneration has long been one of the most sight-threatening diseases, especially in developed countries. Receiving an early, effective treatment is of great importance for all patients. Saving the precious eyesight is possible only if the disease is controlled at an early stage. This article details some of the popular AMD treatments.
The major upside of Lucentis
Approved in 2006, Lucentis aims to treat wet AMD. This drug is initially a drug for colorectal cancer treatment. Lucentis is monthly injected into the eye. Its clinical trial results have revealed that 95% of the patients after receiving Lucentis improved or stabilized their vision. 40% of Lucentis patients were reported to have a 20/40 vision. Lucentis achieves these effects by targeting VEGF protein, which promotes the growth of abnormal blood vessels in retina and leads to AMD.
The potential downside of Lucentis
However, Lucentis still has drawbacks. Even if no adverse reactions associated with the injection itself have been found, Lucentis treatment has some complications, such as eye inflammation, increased eye pressure, traumatic cataract and retinal detachment. In addition, a small portion of Lucentis patients have had eye- or non-eye-related blood clots. In the contrary, increased redness in the whites of the eye, eye pain, small vision specks and foreign body sensation are some more common side effects.
Injected Macugen can control abnormal blood vessel growth
Another FDA-approved treatment for AMD is Macugen, which prevents the abnormal blood vessel growth caused by a protein. This newer treatment also performs in means of injection in every six weeks. Macugen also received satisfying clinical trial results that 33% of its patients maintained or improved their vision. And Macugen was proved to slow the incidence of AMD-caused vision loss. While bringing high rates (up to 40%) of slight side effects such as eye floaters and discomfort, Macugen only causes less than 1% of severe side effects such as detached retina and severe inflammation.
Laser treatment in history
As an ever widely used AMD treatment, laser treatment is particularly for AMD patients with extremely distinctive bleeding under the retina. Today, laser treatment has been replaced by Visudyne, because the laser procedure brings scars or blind spots on patients.
Visudyne drug therapy is suitable for certain AMD patients
As the first drug therapy for AMD, Visudyne has a painless but more complex treatment procedure. After injected into the patient’s arm, Visudyne will be activated by a non-thermal laser light during its passing through the retinal blood vessels. Vision improvement has been found in one out of six Visudyne receivers and vision loss has been significantly reduced. However, Visudyne is only effective for people with new blood vessel growth, which account for 40% to 60% of total AMD patients.