MACUGEN (pegaptanib sodium injection)

Prescribing Information | Important Safety Information

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How wet AMD develops

Wet AMD develops after blood vessels in the eye are encouraged to grow by an abnormal amount of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These blood vessels can leak blood into the area of the eye that contains the retina.

This leakage leads to fluid collection underneath the macula, which damages it. A damaged macula may cause you to lose your sharp, central vision over time. If left untreated, wet AMD can lead to total blindness.

How does MACUGEN work?

MACUGEN is specifically designed to inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels that can begin leaking and cause damage to the retina. It is given by eye injection once every 6 weeks.

MACUGEN was designed to target VEGF (which is a substance called a “growth factor”) in the tissues of the eye. VEGF triggers the growth of blood vessels in the eye, which can leak and lead to wet AMD.

  • MACUGEN is designed to target a protein called VEGF; this protein triggers the growth of blood vessels—having an effect on vision.
  • MACUGEN has been shown to reduce risk of vision loss as early as 6 weeks after beginning treatment. Individual results may vary.
  • The Focus on Access (FOA) program is a resource that may provide reimbursement counseling for patients like you.

Please see Important Safety Information below


MACUGEN (pegaptanib sodium injection) is approved to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a condition that could affect your vision due to leaking blood vessels in your eye.


  • You should not receive Macugen (pegaptanib sodium injection) if you have an infection in or around your eye or if you are allergic to pegaptanib sodium or any of the other ingredients. Contact your doctor immediately if you have unusual swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing after having a Macugen injection.
  • In the days following Macugen administration, you may be at risk for the development of endophthalmitis (inflammation of the inner coats of the eye due to an infection). If the eye becomes red, sensitive to light, painful, or develops a change in vision, contact your doctor immediately so you can be treated early if an infection occurs.
  • Macugen can increase eye pressure within 30 minutes after it is injected into your eye. Your doctor may do some extra tests after your injection to make sure there are no complications or problems.
  • Serious side effects related to the injection procedure have been seen in patients receiving eye injections such as Macugen. These include endophthalmitis, a separation in the retina referred to as retinal detachment, and cataract. Less than 1% of injections have caused a serious side effect.
  • The following side effects were reported by 10-40% of patients treated with Macugen for up to two years in clinical studies: eye swelling, blurred vision, cataract, increased redness in the white of the eye, discharge from the eye, eye irritation, eye pain, high blood pressure, increased eye pressure, eye discomfort, visual disturbances, burning sensation, redness, light sensitivity, and vision loss.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.