MACUGEN (pegaptanib sodium injection)

Prescribing Information | Important Safety Information

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Treatment for Wet AMD with MACUGEN

How does MACUGEN work?

MACUGEN has been available to treat wet AMD since 2004, and it 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.

Possible results from MACUGEN treatment*

  • A third of patients in a study who received MACUGEN maintained or improved their vision after a year, versus less than a quarter of patients who received sham (fake) eye injections
  • Reduced risk of vision loss happened as early as 6 weeks after MACUGEN treatment started in the study, with results improving over time
  • Individual results may vary
  • Please see Important Safety Information below

How often will I need MACUGEN treatments?

If your doctor has prescribed treatment with MACUGEN, you may be asked to return every 6 weeks for an eye injection. Your doctor may also customize a schedule that fits your specific needs.

The visual effects of wet AMD are caused by the leaking vessels in your eye. If any of your symptoms worsen, contact your retina specialist immediately.


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.