Pegaptanib Sodium

Pegaptanib Sodium is a prescription used for the treatment of Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration.  This is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your visual field. In this type of condition, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and macula. These new blood vessels may then bleed and leak fluid. It causes the macula to bulge or lift from its normally flat position. Thus, distorting or destroying the central vision. Under these circumstances, vision loss may be rapid and severe. With the ‘wet’ type, patients may see a dark spot in the center of their vision due to blood or fluid under the macula. Some signs and symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Visual distortions such as straight lines seeming bent
  • A well-defined blurry spot or a blind spot in your field of vision
  • Decreased intensity or brightness of colors
  • Abrupt onset and rapid worsening of symptoms
  • A general haziness in your overall vision

This medication is in the class of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. VEGF is a secreted protein that selectively binds and activated its receptors. It primarily located on the surface of vascular endothelial cells. This induces angiogenesis, increases vascular permeability, and inflammation. All of which are thought to contribute to the progression of the neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration which is a leading cause of blindness.

Pegaptanib Sodium is supplied in a single-dose and pre-filled syringe.  This is a sterile and aqueous solution that contains Pegaptanib Sodium for intravitreous injection. This is available in the dosage form of 0.3 mcg/90 mcL (prefilled syringe). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How does Pegaptanib Sodium work?

In wetage-related macular degeneration, blood vessels from the back of the eye grow abnormally into an area called the macula at the back of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for seeing fine detail. The blood vessels that grow abnormally into the macula in wetage-related macular degeneration may leak or bleed into this area. That it may cause a rapid and significant reduction in central vision. A substance called vascular endothelial growth factor A is responsible for making the blood vessels grow and leak.

Pegaptanib Sodium is a monoclonal antibody that has been designed to specifically recognize and bind to vascular endothelial growth factor. By binding to VEGF, this drug blocks the action of this substance. In which it helps to stop the growth and leakage of blood vessels in the eye. The medicine can help improve damaged vision or prevent it from getting worse.

How to use Pegaptanib Sodium?

Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Clean the injection with rubbing alcohol before injecting each dose. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. To get the most benefit from it, use the medication regularly. Do not take more or less or more often than the prescribed length of time. Remember to use the prescription at the same time each day. It may help to mark your calendar. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

This prescription is administered in a 0.3 mg dose once every 6 weeks by intravitreal injection. An intravitreal injection is one that is administered directly into the eye, more specifically, into the vitreous humor or the jelly-like fluid within the eye. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take twice the prescribed dosage to make up for the missed dose.

What are the side effects of Pegaptanib Sodium?

Common side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Joint pain
  • Dizziness
  • Watery eyes
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of the eyelids or mild eye pain or discomfort after the injection

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects such as:

  • Sudden vision problems
  • Eye pain or redness
  • Swelling around your eyes
  • Eyes being more sensitive to light
  • Seeing flashes of light or floaters in your vision
  • Sudden numbness or weakness especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache, confusion, or problems with balance or speech

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • Before starting this treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or may be pregnant before starting this medication. As well as if you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.
  • You may experience dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid driving or do an activity that requires your alertness.
  • Call for medical help and stop taking the drug if there are any signs of an overdose.
  • Before using this, let your doctor know if you have ever had kidney or liver disease.
  • Following treatment with this medicine you may develop temporary visual disturbances that may affect your ability to drive and operate machinery. If affected you should not drive or use machinery until your vision improves.
  • You may be asked to use antibiotic eye drops or other types of antibiotic before and after each injection.
  • This drug may rarely cause an allergic reaction called angioedema.
  • This should be used with caution in people with severely decreased kidney function.
  • This should not be used in people with active or suspended infection in or around the eye.
  • Pegaptanib Sodium is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
  • Do not share this medicine with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Keep this medication far from heat, moisture, and far from the reach of children.