Macugen (pegaptanib sodium injection) is a sterile, aqueous solution containing pegaptanib sodium for intravitreous injection. Macugen solution is supplied in a single-dose, pre-filled syringe.
Pegaptanib is a selective vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist. VEGF is a secreted protein that selectively binds and activates its receptors located primarily on the surface of vascular endothelial cells. VEGF induces angiogenesis, and increases vascular permeability and inflammation, all of which are thought to contribute to the progression of the neovascular (wet) form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.
Macugen can be used as maintenance therapy with recommended dosing every 6 weeks.
The most frequently reported ocular adverse reaction reported in clinical trials was eye irritation, which occurred in 1% to 2% of patients. Other adverse reactions associated with the use of AzaSite were reported in less than 1% of patients and included ocular reactions (blurred vision, burning, stinging and irritation upon instillation, contact dermatitis, corneal erosion, dry eye, eye pain, itching, ocular discharge, punctate keratitis, visual acuity reduction) and nonocular reactions (dysgeusia, facial swelling, hives, nasal congestion, periocular swelling, rash, sinusitis, urticaria).
Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychiatric disorders, vertigo. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration. Spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke (including brainstem) have been reported after epidural administration of corticosteroids (see WARNINGS: Neurologic).