A growing number of patients are reporting serious eye and vision complications following Avastin eye injections. The trouble with Avastin, isn’t the medication itself, but instead its means of delivery.
Avastin® (bevacizumab), produced by Genetech, was approved by the FDA in 2004 for treatment of certain cancers including colorectal
cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, brain cancer, and cervical cancer.
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Ophthalmologists and other medical providers use Avastin® in eye injections to treat various eye conditions including:
- Macular degeneration
- Macular edema
- Macular dystrophy
- Other degenerative eye conditions
However, the use of Avastin® in eye injections is an off-label use of the drug. Meaning this type of use has not been approved by FDA. As a result, compounding pharmacies receive Avastin from Genetech and subsequently re-package Avastin in individual syringes to distribute to ophthalmologists for use in eye injections.
In order to prepare Avastin® for eye injection use, compounding pharmacies break down large batches of Avastin® to fill syringes before sending to ophthalmologists. Unfortunately, compounding pharmacies have elected to use plastic syringes, often diabetic syringes coated with silicone for the injections. These syringes are not made for eye injections. In the syringes, silicone particles from the syringe mix with the Avastin®.
Injections can cause severe complications including floaters and other eye and vision problems including blindness for individuals already suffering from a severe eye and vision problems. Patients can require painful medical treatment to resolve the floaters.