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Lucentis and Avastin - Response and Resistance
June 19, 2013

Lucentis and Avastin - Response and Resistance

While many of those with macular degeneration benefit from intraocular injections of Lucentis and Avastin, there are others who do not respond at all and others who develop a resistance to these anti-VEGF medications after weeks, months or years of monthly eye injections.

Drug resistance is common not only in prescription drugs but over-the-counter drugs as well. When the body is repeatedly exposed to the same drug, the body becomes desensitized to it and the medication loses its effectiveness.

Anti-VEGF Therapy

Anti-VEGF drugs, like Lucentis and Avastin, are drugs that are given by injection into the eye to slow down or stop the development of wet macular degeneration. However, it is not a one time treatment. In fact the recommended frequency can be as often as once a month or every 28 days.

So it is not surprising that some patients will at some time no longer benefit from these regular eye injections because they have developed a resistance to the medication.

When this happens and the eye injections are no longer effective, there really is no other FDA approved treatments to offer the patient.

University of Iowa Study

But that may be changing, thanks to a small study conducted at the University of Iowa in patients who had previously been treated with Lucentis or Avastin.

“The challenge has been treating patients who are not very responsive to the first two drugs (Avastin and Lucentis). It was assumed that they would not respond to anything,” says Vinit Mahajan, assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa. “We are among the first to show that this drug can be effective in patients that were resistant to the first two drugs.”

Find out more about the encouraging results from another anti-VEGF medication here:

Anti-VEGF Therapy for Lucentis/Avastin Resistance

Thanks so much for subscribing to Macular Degeneration News.

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision

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