Discovery Eye Foundation
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Treatment Options for Wet AMD
Fortunately for people with wet macular degeneration, there are several treatment options and more are being developed. These are aimed at sealing off the leaking blood vessels (with a laser and light sensitive drug) and/or preventing the blood vessels from growing back (these last are called anti-angiogenic therapies).

Repeated treatments are necessary, as often as once a month, but doctors are now finding that treatments can be spaced further apart and still be effective. Each eye is different, so your doctor will watch carefully how you respond and will recommend what works best for you.

With multiple treatment options available, your doctor can advise you which therapy will probably be best for your case.  After reviewing the photographs taken after treatment, your doctor will decide whether continuing that treatment is the best choice.  Sometimes, the retinal specialist will start you on one treatment for a few months and then switch you to another therapy. Or, you may start with one therapy and another will be added to it.

Early detection and treatment are key to good results of any therapy for wet macular degeneration. All these treatments work better if applied early in an episode of bleeding. The goal of current treatments is to stop or slow the progression of wet AMD. While it is possible to restore some vision in patients treated early, none of the therapies can restore vision in an eye with scarring.



Macugen Print E-mail
Macugen was the first antiangiogenic therapy to be approved by the FDA. It was shown to be effective in 70% of cases, but did not restore vision in any statistically significant amount. Because Lucentis is more effective in maintaining and restoring vision, Macugen is not used very often now. However, it may play a part in your treatment regimen.  More recently, Macugen has been used in other retinal problems, like macular edema.
 
Avastin Print E-mail
Avastin was developed by Genentech to treat colon cancer. It uses the same antiangiogenic approach to stop the growth of blood vessels to the cancer tumor. Because it was available before Lucentis was approved, some eye doctors began to use smaller quantities of it in the eye. It has shown some good results and is significantly cheaper than Lucentis or Macugen. Use of Avastin for wet macular degeneration has become very common. Some doctors choose it exclusively; others treat with Lucentis and then switch to Avastin.
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Eylea Print E-mail
Developed by Regeneron, EYLEA injected every other month was shown to be comparable to Lucentis, when injected monthly. Side effects were similar to other injected drugs, most commonly discomfort and redness at the site of the injection. An increase in intraocular pressure was seen, so retinal specialists are cautioned to monitor patients for this issue. This side effect is seen with Lucentis and Avastin as well and most are temporary.
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Lucentis Print E-mail
Considered the "gold standard" in a group of anti-angiogenic drugs, Lucentis acts against the growth of the new blood vessels of wet or exudative macular degeneration. Nearly all patients (95 percent) treated with LUCENTIS maintained their vision in the Phase III clinical trials.
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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Print E-mail
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a cold laser treatment that is still being used to treat patients with wet AMD, though much less frequently now that useful drugs are available.  It may be tried in combination with Lucentis or other anti-angiogenic drugs, as that may increase the effectiveness.  
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Photocoagulation Therapy Print E-mail
Share Share Photocoagulation Therapy is a "hot laser" treatment. With the advent of newer therapies, very few "hot" lasers are performed. For years, photocoagulation was the only treatment available for wet AMD.
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