What If I Miss a Dose of Aflibercept?If you do not receive an aflibercept injection as scheduled, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. This medication is most effective when used on a monthly basis, and missing doses may decrease its effectiveness.
How Does It Work?Wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal growth of the blood vessels in the back of the eye. The blood vessels grow behind the retina, underneath the macula (a part of the retina essential for detailed vision). These new blood vessels are abnormal, and are weak and prone to leaking. Leaking causes damage to the macula, causing "wet" macular degeneration.
Macular edema following retinal vein occlusion is caused by a blockage of a retinal vein, leading to the leakage of fluid.
Aflibercept is a part of an antibody that is designed to bind to and inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and placental growth factor (PGF). VEGF-A and PGF are naturally occurring proteins that encourage blood vessel leakage and the growth of new blood vessels, including abnormal blood vessels in wet macular degeneration. By binding to VEGF-A and PGF, aflibercept prevents this protein from encouraging new blood vessel growth and blood vessel leakage. This helps to slow down, or even reverse, vision loss and macular damage.
Clinical Effects of AfliberceptSeveral studies have evaluated aflibercept for wet macular degeneration treatment. These studies compared aflibercept with ranibizumab (Lucentis®), a similar medication that is also injected into the eye. These studies showed that aflibercept is approximately as effective as Lucentis.
Aflibercept has also been studied for macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion. In these studies, more people given aflibercept injections regained lost vision, compared to people given placebo injections (injections without any active ingredient).