Lucentis Vs. Avastin: The Competition For Treatment Of Macular Degeneration 0
Treatment Of Macular Degeneration
When Lucentis was presented to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), they approved it after a lengthy testing period. There were celebrations going on all over the eye care world. Not only had they found an effective treatment for AMD, but it would be hefty in the pocket book department. The day they received the good news was in 2006. Lucentis was a step into the technology age.
Another drug we will discuss is Avastin. If you have received a diagnosis of macular degeneration (AMD), you are well aware of these two drugs. The debate between doctors is which drug is more effective and which is proper to use. If you are using one of these two treatments, then we recommend you read this article to become more aware. Not only will you be aware, you will also be able to inform your friends and loved ones as well.
Does Avastin work as well as Lucentis in treating Macular Degeneration?
The cost of both drugs is very different. Lucentis is way more expensive than Avastin because it is FDA approved for the treatment of macular degeneration. Your cost is high for treatment with Lucentis versus a much lower cost per treatment for Avastin. Doctors argue that Avastin is just as effective as Lucentis but at a more affordable price. Besides the cost difference in the two drugs, there is another concern that arises. Avastin came into being for treatment of colon cancer and other cancers. It has not been FDA approved for the treatment of AMD and is considered “off-label” for this purpose.
Knowing this, there is not enough evidence either way to answer the question of which drug works best. Back in October of 2007, Genentech, the company which markets both drugs, had a plan. They were going to limit availability of Avastin for ocular uses. Some doctors say that the drug is as effective as, if not more so than, Lucentis, but others claim that it is not as effective.
Where the Lucentis and Avastin debate stands today
Some doctors expressed safety concerns when asked about Avastin as a macular degeneration treatment. As a matter-of-fact, they refused to prescribe it. Still, others will not prescribe anything else. The debate continues to this day about which drug works best, and it’s been found that either drug can work well. Most of the time, a patient will respond better to one drug or the other, but both Lucentis and Avastin have shown efficacy.
If you are having either one injected, you are in good shape according to most in the medical field. One is more expensive than the other, but the effects are the same. No matter which one your doctor prescribes, that treatment is right for you, but if you are having complications, let your doctor know, because there may be other issues. Have you gotten injections for macular degeneration? We’d love to hear about your experience!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
How Does Macular Degeneration Lead to Blindness? 0
- Dr. Jenna Zigler
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Age-Related Macular Degeneration 0
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is damage that occurs to the macula which is located in the back of the eye, directly at the line of sight. The macula is the part of the eye that is responsible for sharp central vision, which enables a person to pinpoint objects and recognize faces. This deterioration occurs from older age in many individuals, as the name suggests.
There are two types of AMD. The first type is dry AMD, which is characterized by a breakdown of the macular tissues which causes a buildup to form underneath the retinal layers, called drusen. If the yellow deposits of drusen increase in size, then the tissue at the back of the eye may be cut off from its blood supply. If this occurs, new blood vessels form and tend to leak. This leads to the second type of macular degeneration, which is wet or exudative AMD. Both of these types of macular degeneration can lead to devastating loss of vision.
AMD is preventative by eating approximately 2.5-5 cups of leafy, green vegetables a day which boost antioxidants and help fight free radicals that take part in the age-related breakdown of the macula. Wearing proper UV protection, a healthy exercise regimen, and not smoking may also decrease the risk of AMD. In fact, smoking increased your AMD risk by over four times!
There are vitamin supplements that are available which have antioxidants in them, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, that have been shown to help filter oxidative chemicals and harmful blue light causing damage to the macula. However, it is important to consult with an eye doctor before beginning any new eye vitamins. Our Ocular Health Formula from Eye Love is used daily with our patients and is definitely approved by us!
Patients who have dry AMD are commonly monitored with an Amsler Grid. Patients are given this grid to monitor how their vision is functioning. If they see any parts of the grid missing, or wavy lines, it may indicate that their condition is changing. If wet AMD begins, they will likely become a candidate for anti-VEGF injections. Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) is a drug that is used to stop new blood vessel formation in its tracks. Eylea, Avastin, and Lucentis are the names of the drugs that are successfully being used at this time. These drugs aim to preserve vision and in some cases improve sight. If you’re suffering from macular degeneration, don’t wait to begin supplements and definitely don’t delay that eye exam!
We love hearing from those with AMD and especially hearing success stories. If you’ve got one, post it in the comments below!
Rufino, Silva. Age Related Macular Degeneration . Portugal : GER Group , 2010. Print.
- Dr. Jenna Zigler
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Driving With Macular Degeneration 0
Driving With Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration is a deterioration of the eye that affects the retina, which records the images we see and sends them to the brain. The macula is the center part of the retina, and it is what we use to focus so we can do things like drive and read. The disease also affects how we process colors, fine objects, and facial recognition. Macular Degeneration affects 10 million people in the United States.
Complications with Driving
Driving, to the American people, has long represented freedom. No one wants to give up that freedom. Baby Boomers are rapidly aging. Right now about 10% of the population is over the age of 65. As Baby Boomers age, that percentage will continue to increase. Right now it is estimated that as many as 23-40% of drivers over the age of 65 have macular degeneration. Because of this, the American Medical Association suggests we ask ourselves six questions.
If you answered yes to any or all of the questions it is highly recommended that you quit driving and consult your eye specialist before getting behind the wheel of a car again.
Ways To Maintain Your Independence
Let’s face it, no one wants to lose their independence. There are ways to still be independent even if you can’t continue to drive. Consider having a driving specialist evaluate you and see if there are tips to help you drive better. If the specialist recommends that you no longer drive, consider your alternatives. Are there buses in your area, or can you call a cab? Many areas have buses you can call that are for people who need assistance, and they can take you where you need to go. Many cities have a senior assistance center to help you. Finally, you can ask friends and family for help!
Dr. Travis Zigler
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- Dr. Travis Zigler
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