How Do Vitreolytics Work?

Reviewed on 6/24/2021

What are vitreolytics and how do they work?

Vitreolytics are medications that prevent the vitreous from forming an abnormal attachment to the macular portion of the retina. The retina is the innermost layer of light-sensitive tissue in the eye and the macula is the central part of the retina. Macula has a high concentration of photoreceptor cells and is responsible for central and color vision as well as fine details of images.

Vitreous humor is a transparent gel-like substance that fills the eyeball space between the lens and the retina. With age, the vitreous starts shrinking and pulls away from the retina. If parts of the vitreous adhere to the macula and parts pull away, it can damage the macula due to traction, and affect vision.

Vitreolytics are enzymes that break down protein components such as laminin, fibronectin and collagen in the vitreous and the retinal surface, and dissolve the adhesion between vitreous and macula.

How are vitreolytics used?

Vitreolytics are solutions that are administered as intravitreal injections. Vitreolytics are used to treat symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion, which causes vision problems. Vitreomacular adhesion is an age-related condition that occurs typically in people above 50 years of age and is more common in women and in people who are nearsighted.

What are side effects of vitreolytics?

Side effects of vitreolytics may include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some vitreolytic drugs?

Generic and brand name of FDA-approved vitreolytic drug is:

  • Ocriplasmin intravitreal (Jetrea)

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References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/vitreolytics

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/vitreomacular-adhesion

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