New Macular Degeneration Drug Tested Locally

Patricia Liscinsky of South Fort Myers knew there was something wrong with her vision while driving home from work at a local department store one night. She couldn’t read the street signs, especially at dusk.

Her vision became worse day by day until she finally was no longer able to work nights at all. Then her ophthalmologist referred her to Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida, where she was diagnosed with the “wet” variety of age-related macular degeneration or AMD, the leading cause of legal blindness among people over the age of 50 in the western world.

Ms. Liscinsky began a regimen of regular injections of Lucentis, an FDAapproved drug that helps delay the progression of AMD, but doesn’t cure it.

Lucentis and a companion drug, Avastin, have both been used in the treatment of wet AMD since 2006. While long hailed as vision-saving treatments, some patients do experience side-effects such as persistent bleeding and swelling, despite multiple previous injections.

The introduction of the newest treatment on the market to date, called Eylea, is changing that outcome for Ms. Liscinsky and others like her. With a single injection, Ms. Liscinsky’s bleeding and swelling stopped and her vision improved.

She now has 20/40 vision in her right eye and 20/20 vision in her left eye, according to her retina specialist, Dr. Joseph Walker of Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida.

“Eylea is the new generation FDAapproved treatment for wet AMD and seems to be more effective for certain individuals,” Dr. Walker said.

Retina Consultants recently announced the results of its internal testing of 100 patients who received the Eylea treatment for AMD in the past 10 months. Forty percent had no further abnormal blood vessel growth and swelling after a single injection of Eylea and one third of the patients experienced improved vision.

The vision-saving results were announced by Dr. Ashish G. Sharma of Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida at the American Society of Retina Specialists annual meeting in Las Vegas attended by 1,000 retina specialists from all over the world.

The new therapy may reduce the number of injections that patients need to receive to achieve stability, one’s doctor is best suited to determine which drug is best for you.

Article originally appeared on on 1/9/2013. You can read the original article here:

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