Avastin macular degeneration treatment

Avastin eye injection is a treatment for macular degeneration and other eye diseases

Avastin treatment for macular degeneration

Avastin side effects and complications

Avastin, also called Bevacizumab, is a drug that treats eye conditions like macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion. This drug was first FDA approved for cancerous tumor treatment but ophthalmologists quickly discovered its promise for the treatment of leaking blood vessels caused by many common eye diseases. Eye doctors are using the drug “off-label” ever since. Since Bevacizumab is not FDA approved for use in the eye, its intraocular use is considered off-label. However, Avastin is now a mainstream treatment for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

Many “mainstream” treatments are done off-label – some examples are Aspirin, Botox and many of the common depression treatments.

Intraocular use has become very popular and Bevacizumab is currently one of the most commonly used anti-VEGF medications in the United States.


Avastin eye injection side effects

Although quite rare, some complications and side effects of Bevacizumab eye injections are being reported. Virtually every single intraocular medication has a risk of side effects. We will attempt to cover Bevacizumab complications in this Avastin Side Effects article.

Let’s look at those initial Avastin side effects findings for cancer treatment:

Complications when Avastin is given to cancer patients

When doctors treat patients with certain types of cancer with intravenous Bevacizumab, a small amount of those patients experience serious and sometimes life-threatening complications.

It is important to remember that these patients are also given 400 times the amount of the drug normally given to eye disease patients. Furthermore, cancer patients receive the treatment much more frequently.

One study of patients who were treated with Bevacizumab intravenously reports only a mild elevation in blood pressure.

Bevacizumab eye injection side effects and risks

Since the beginning of mainstream Bevacizumab use in the eye, the occurrence of side effects and complications from Bevacizumab are low.

In most cases, a patient who receives Bevacizumab for an eye disease is in overall better health than a cancer patient – this would presumably reduce the risk of Avastin side effects, just on the basis of whole body health.

The head-to-head data comparing IV Bevacizumab with intraocular Avastin side effects show the Bevacizumab given into the eye has none of the side effects of the IV treatments.

Most common Avastin side effects

After more than ten years of using intraocular Bevacizumab, ophthalmologists see a very small amount of side effects. However, these are the most common Avastin complications seen:

  • Red, irritated eye
  • Bloodshot eye
  • Small specks or bubble shapes in vision
  • Elevation in eye pressure
  • Tearing

Here are some very uncommon Avastin complications:

  • Inflammation inside the eye
  • Cataract
  • Retina or vitreous bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • A decrease in eye pressure
  • Cornea problems
  • Intraocular infection (endophthalmitis)


Allergic reaction to Avastin eye injection

Any medication has the potential to cause allergic reactions in a small number of people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include a rash, hives, itching, shortness of breath, and rarely, death (extremely rare). If you have allergies to other medicines, foods, or other things in the environment, or if you have asthma, you should let your ophthalmologist or his staff know. Being prone to allergies could be a red flag for your doctor to choose a different mode of treatment.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2635984/

Please understand that this page is NOT to be taken as medical advice. You should speak to your medical doctor and/or ophthalmologist about any concerns or possible side effects or complications from Avastin or any other eye medication. JirehDesign.com assumes no responsibility in terms of the accuracy of this content. All information on this website is certainly not intended to replace or even augment the relationship between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. JirehDesign makes no claims to medical/surgical/anatomical accuracy of the images on this website. The images are not to be used for medical advice.

Mark Erickson

Working as an Ophthalmic Photographer since 1988, Mark Erickson has examined and photographed virtually every type of eye condition there is through various high-powered microscopes and cameras. This experience has given him a unique and intimate understanding of the eye and its various anatomical structures, diseases and surgical procedures. In 1998, Mark started coupling this medical photography experience with his artistic and creative abilities. The result is a vast gallery of various eye anatomy, eye conditions & diseases and surgical illustrations. Mark’s work has been published on the front cover of numerous, top eye care industry magazines and books. His work frequently illustrates the front cover of industry journals. Mark’s work has been commissioned by National Geographic, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson and Transition Lenses, to name a few. Mark Erickson’s artwork and story were published in The National Association of Photoshop Professionals monthly publication, “Photoshop User” and “Layers” magazines. Mark now focuses his creative energy on his website, JirehDesign.com, and creating and licensing stock and custom ophthalmic illustrations and animations for use in pharmaceutical marketing, legal cases, product marketing, websites and patient education materials.