Avastin® is a drug that is injected into the eye to slow vision loss in people who have Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Avastin® blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which is the cause of Wet AMD. Avastin® is also used in some cases to treat macular edema, or swelling of the macula, often associated with diabetic retinopathy.
Abnormal blood vessels need a chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. Avastin® blocks the production of VEGF, thus slowing the growth of blood vessels in the eye that can leak and cause vision loss.
Avastin® is used for the treatment of Wet AMD.
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older in the United States. This condition damages the macula, which is located in the center of the retina and enables you to see fine details clearly. You rely on your macula whenever you read, drive, or do other activities that require you to focus on precise details. A person with AMD loses the ability to perceive fine details both up close and at a distance. This type of vision loss affects only your central vision.
There are two types of AMD. About 90% of people with AMD have the atrophic or Dry AMD, which develops when the tissues of the macula grow thin with age. About 10% have the exudative or Wet AMD. With Wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina. These unhealthy vessels leak blood and fluid, which can scar the macula. Vision loss can be rapid and severe. Avastin® is not effective for the treatment of Dry AMD.