Wet macular degeneration is also called:
Wet macular degeneration is the result of the formation of new, fragile and leaky blood vessels growing under the retina. The growth of these new blood vessels is called angiogenesis.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is secreted by cells that are oxygen deprived and stimulate the growth of these abnormal blood vessels. Healthy adults secrete very low levels of VEGF, while those who have health conditions such as cancer or age related macular degeneration secrete high levels of this protein.
This is what happens:
When wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) develops, weak abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and lead to vision loss. The growth of these vessels is triggered by a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The idea behind ANTI-VEGF drugs is to block the VEGF from stimulating the growth of these new blood vessels which damages the rod and cone cells by leaking blood and fluid. This slows the vision loss linked to wet AMD.Those that benefit from this type of treatment are patients who have active leaking blood vessels.
There are 3 ANTI-VEGF drugs used to treat wet macular degeneration:
The cost of Avastin is much less than Lucentis.
Usually a patient is given multiple injections over several months.
Side Effects of Anti-VEGF
Anti-VEGF medicines can slow the vision loss that is linked to wet AMD.1 They may also improve vision for people with wet AMD.2 Because these medicines are relatively new, long-term effects are not yet known.
Many side effects may be caused by the actual injection procedure rather than the drug itself. For example, the injections have a risk of infection. Long-term effects of these medicines are not yet known.
You will likely get the injections on a regular basis, such as once a month.
Other types of anti-VEGF drugs are currently being studied, including some that may be injected into a vein (intravenously) rather than into the eye.
Anti-VEGF medicines may help stop vision loss in people who cannot benefit from other treatments such as laser photocoagulation or photodynamic therapy.