EYLEA® (aflibercept) injection is a prescription medicine administered by injection into the eye. EYLEA® is effective in fighting back against certain retinal diseases, such as Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD), Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion (MEfRVO). All of these diseases may impact your vision, which may be noticeable during activities such as driving, reading, writing, and watching TV. Over time, these conditions may lead to vision loss.
Patients experience symptoms of retinal diseases differently, but they may include the following:
Diabetic Retinopathy. At first, patients may not experience any symptoms, but symptoms like blurry vision or seeing floating spots may occur as the disease progresses.
Diabetic Macular Edema. Symptoms like blurriness in the center of vision, straight lines that look wavy, colors that look dull or washed out, and blind spots or patches may occur.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Symptoms like blurriness in the center of vision, straight lines that look wavy, colors that look dull or washed out, blind spots or patches, and objects that seem farther away than they really are may occur.
Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion. Symptoms like blurriness in the center of vision, straight lines that look wavy, blind spots or patches, and vision loss may occur.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to see an eye care specialist who treats certain retinal diseases.
EYLEA® works as an anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) drug to prevent cells from producing too much VEGF. Normally, VEGF is a protein produced by cells in your body to produce new blood vessels when your body needs them. However, sometimes these cells produce too much VEGF, causing abnormal blood vessels to grow in your eye. These abnormal blood vessels can damage your eye and harm your vision, leading to low vision or blindness over time.
EYLEA® works to slow the progression of vision loss. It blocks VEGF, hindering the growth of abnormal blood vessels, and stops the development and leaking of fluid from abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye.
EYLEA® treatment doesn’t take long. The process is as follows:
EYLEA® is an FDA-approved drug to treat Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD), and Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion (MEfRVO).
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. Diabetes causes abnormal glucose metabolism as a result of decreased levels of insulin or insulin resistance. Increased blood glucose levels are thought to have a structural and physiological effect on retinal capillaries (small blood vessels in the back of the eye), causing them to be both functionally and anatomically incompetent. As a result, diabetic retinopathy causes changes to the blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels can swell, leak fluid, or bleed, leading to vision changes or blindness.
Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss.
Wet age-related macular degeneration results from abnormal blood vessels that form underneath the retina at the back of the eye. These new blood vessels leak fluid or blood and blur central vision. As a result, vision loss may be rapid and severe.
MEfRVO is a serious eye condition that can quickly get worse or lead to a loss of vision.
In some patients, injections with EYLEA® may cause a temporary increase in eye pressure within 1 hour of the injection. Sustained increases in eye pressure have been reported with repeated injections, and your doctor may monitor this after each injection.
Serious side effects related to the injection procedure with EYLEA® are rare but can occur, including infection inside the eye and retinal detachment.
The most common side effects reported in patients receiving EYLEA® are increased redness in the eye, eye pain, cataract, vitreous (gel-like substance) detachment, vitreous floaters, moving spots in the field of vision, and increased pressure in the eye.
People treated with EYLEA® have a reduced chance of progressing to a more serious stage of disease. Your eye care specialist will discuss a treatment schedule with you. Generally, patients receive EYLEA® every 2 months after five initial monthly doses.
You would not be a candidate for EYLEA® injections if you have an infection in or around the eye, eye pain or redness, or known allergies to any of the ingredients in EYLEA®, including aflibercept.