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Macugen Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Macugen

Generic Name: pegaptanib ophthalmic injection (Pronunciation: peg AP ta nib off THAL mik in JEK tion)

What is pegaptanib (Macugen)?

Pegaptanib decreases the level of a protein that affects the cells of the eye. This protein can cause swelling and blood vessel changes that lead to macular degeneration and blindness.

Pegaptanib treats age-related macular degeneration.

Pegaptanib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of pegaptanib (Macugen)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • eye pain, redness, or irritation;
  • drainage or discharge from your eyes;
  • feeling that your eyes are more sensitive to light; or
  • trouble seeing, or other vision changes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • cough;
  • diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • joint pain; or
  • painful or burning urination.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Macugen (pegaptanib sodium) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about pegaptanib ophthalmic (Macugen)?

You should not receive pegaptanib if you have an infection in or around your eye.

Before you receive pegaptanib, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction when receiving a pegaptanib injection.

Pegaptanib is given as an injection through a needle placed directly into your eye. Your doctor will give you this injection in a clinic setting. Only one eye at a time will be treated unless your doctor prescribes otherwise.

Pegaptanib injections are usually given every 6 weeks.

Before your injection, you will receive a numbing medicine to make you comfortable during the injection. You will also be treated with an antibiotic medicine to prevent infection.

After your injection, your doctor will need to check your eyes periodically for up to 30 minutes. You may also need to be checked again in 2 and 7 days.

You may need to protect your eyes from bright light while you are being treated with this medication.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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