People who have neovascular "wet" macular degeneration may receive a drug called Eylea to help slow down or reverse vision loss. This product can also treat macular edema caused by retinal vein occlusion. This prescription medicine is injected into the eye. Possible side effects may include eye pain or blood spots on the white part of the eye.
What Is Eylea?Eylea™ (aflibercept) is a prescription medication used to treat certain eye conditions. Specifically, the drug is approved to treat a type of age-related macular degeneration called "wet" macular degeneration and to treat macular edema caused by retinal vein occlusion.
How Does Eylea 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.
Eylea 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, Eylea 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.