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What Is Aflibercept Used For?

Using Aflibercept for Macular Edema

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage in a vein in the retina of the eye. There are two types of RVO, branch RVO and central RVO. Blockage of retinal veins can cause various complications, including macular edema (fluid accumulation in the macula of the eye). This fluid accumulation can cause distortion and blurriness in the center of one's vision.
 
Aflibercept is approved for the treatment of macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion. It has been shown to help reduce further vision loss and to help many people regain lost vision.
  

How Does This Medicine Work?

As mentioned, 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.
 

Can Children Use Aflibercept?

Aflibercept is not approved for use in people younger than 18 years old, as it has not been studied in this age group. This makes sense, as age-related macular degeneration is usually a disease of the elderly.
 
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