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Visudyne Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Visudyne (verteporfin) for Injection is a light activated drug used in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of blood vessel disorders in the eye, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. Common side effects include slight changes in vision, dry eyes, irritation of eyelids, seeing flashes of light, headache, weak or tired feeling, mild skin rash or itching, nausea, joint pain, or flu-like symptoms.
Visudyne therapy is a two-step process where the medication is injected first and then activated by laser light treatment to the eye(s) 15 minutes later. Skin and eyes will be sensitive to light following treatment with Visudyne, so it is important to protect your eyes and skin from sunlight or bright indoor light for at least 5 days after treatment. Sunblock will not be sufficient to protect your skin against UV rays during this time, so clothing should be used to cover skin. Certain drugs such as diabetes medication, birth control pills, diuretics, antibiotics, as well as other drugs can interact with Visudyne. Tell your doctor of all medication you are taking. If you are pregnant you should only take Visudyne if the benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. You should not take Visudyne if you are breastfeeding.
Our Visudyne (verteporfin) for Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Visudyne in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; sweating; dizziness; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- severe decrease in vision;
- sudden and severe pain;
- severe redness or other discoloration of your eyes;
- eye pain or seeing halos around lights;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- chest pain; or
- flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).
Less serious side effects may include:
- slight changes in your vision, seeing flashes of light;
- dry eyes;
- redness, swelling, or itching of your eyelids;
- feeling weak or tired;
- mild itching or skin rash;
- constipation, nausea;
- joint pain, muscle weakness;
- fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, flu symptoms; or
- pain, swelling, bleeding, or itching where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Visudyne (Verteporfin Injection)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Visudyne Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: chest pain, fainting, sweating, eye pain, sudden change in vision.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), flushing, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Visudyne (Verteporfin Injection)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Visudyne FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Severe chest pain, vaso-vagal and hypersensitivity reactions have been reported. Vaso-vagal and hypersensitivity reactions on rare occasions can be severe. These reactions may include syncope, sweating, dizziness, rash, dyspnea, flushing and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. General symptoms can include headache, malaise, urticaria, and pruritus.
The most frequently reported adverse events to VISUDYNE (verteporfin for injection) are injection site reactions (including pain, edema, inflammation, extravasation, rashes, hemorrhage and discoloration) and visual disturbances (including blurred vision, flashes of light, decreased visual acuity and visual field defects, including scotoma). These events occurred in approximately 10%-30% of patients. The following events, listed by Body System, were reported more frequently with Visudyne therapy than with placebo therapy and occurred in 1%-10% of patients:
|Ocular Treatment Site:||Blepharitis, cataracts, conjunctivitis/conjunctival injection, dry eyes, ocular itching, severe vision decrease with or without subretinal/retinal or vitreous hemorrhage|
|Body as a Whole:||Asthenia, fever, flu syndrome, infusion related pain primarily presenting as back pain, photosensitivity reactions|
|Cardiovascular:||Atrial fibrillation, hypertension, peripheral vascular disorder, varicose veins|
|Digestive:||Constipation, gastrointestinal cancers, nausea|
|Hemic and Lymphatic:||Anemia, white blood cell count decreased, white blood cell count increased|
|Hepatic:||Elevated liver function tests|
|Metabolic/Nutritional :||Albuminuria, creatinine increased|
|Musculoskeletal:||Arthralgia, arthrosis, myasthenia|
|Nervous System:||Hypesthesia, sleep disorder, vertigo|
|Respiratory:||Cough, pharyngitis, pneumonia|
|Special Senses:||Cataracts, decreased hearing, diplopia, lacrimation disorder|
Severe vision decrease, equivalent of 4 lines or more, within 7 days after treatment has been reported in l%-5% of patients. Partial recovery of vision was observed in some patients. Photosensitivity reactions usually occurred in the form of skin sunburn following exposure to sunlight. The higher incidence of back pain in the VISUDYNE group occurred primarily during infusion.
The following adverse events have occurred either at low incidence ( < 1%) during clinical trials or have been reported during the use of VISUDYNE in clinical practice where these events were reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size and frequency of occurrence cannot be determined precisely. They have been chosen for inclusion based on factors such as seriousness, frequency of reporting, possible causal connection to VISUDYNE, or a combination of these factors:
|Ocular Treatment Site:||Retinal detachment (nonrhegmatogenous), retinal or choroidal vessel nonperfusion, retinal pigment epithelial tear|
|Non-ocular Events:||Chest pain and other musculoskeletal pain during infusion|
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Visudyne (Verteporfin Injection)
Additional Visudyne Information
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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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