What is Avastin?

what is avastin

What Is Avastin?

Avastin is the trade name for the drug bevacizumab. It belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies 

Many diseases of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and diabetic retinopathy, damage the retina and cause blindness when blood vessels around the retina grow abnormally and leak fluid, causing the layers of the retina to separate. This abnormal growth is caused by VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor), so bevacizumab has been successfully used to inhibit VEGF and slow this growth.

How Does Avastin Work?

New Abnormal blood vessels need a body chemical called Vascular endothelial growth factor(VEGF) to grow. Avastin blocks VEGF, slowing the growth of blood vessels in the eye. Drugs that block the trouble-causing VEGF are called anti-VEGF drugs.


Common Indication of Avastin in Eye

Avastin is used to treat following eye diseases.

  • Wet ARMD
  • CNVM
  • Severe Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Macular Edema
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion 
  • Neovascular Glaucoma

What Happens During Treatment with Avastin?

It is given intravitreously (Into the vitreous humour of the eye)

Before the procedure, your ophthalmologist will clean your eye to prevent infection and numb your eye with medicine. A very thin needle is passed through the white part of your eye and the drug is injected. Usually you do not see the needle itself. You may need to continue having these injections over many months.
Sometime ophthalmologists will combine Avastin treatment with other treatments for the best chance of saving your vision.


Avastin side effects (Most Common) 

  • Red, irritated eye
  • Bloodshot eye
  • Small specks or bubble shapes in vision
  • Elevation in eye pressure
  • Tearing

Rare Avastin complications 

  • Inflammation inside the eye
  • Cataract
  • Retina or vitreous bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • A decrease in eye pressure
  • Cornea problems
  • Intraocular infection (endophthalmitis)
Note:
The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.

References:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevacizumab
2. https://jirehdesign.com/avastin-treatment/
3. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/drugs/avastin

In Nepal major eye hospitals and institutions are providing Avastin Injection services: Consult with Nearest Vitreo-Retina Consultant for further.

In Nepal Doctors of Tilganga Institute of ophthalmology had published articles on "Anatomical and visual outcome of intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with diabetic macular edema" By Shyam Vyas, Raba Thapa, Sanyam Bajimaya, Eli Pradhan, Sanjeeb Bhandari, Govinda Paudyal had concluded that 

Intravitreal bevacizumab resulted in significant decrease in macular thickness, macular volume and improvement in visual acuity starting from first day post injection to maximum at 6 weeks. Though statistically significant the effect was somewhat blunted at 3 and 6 months with mean
of 2.7 injection per eye. This slight reduction in improvement in visual acuity, CMT and macular volume at 3 months follow up suggests visual improvement and stable macular thickness can be maintained in the longer term with injection frequency of probably 6-12 weeks. Intravitreal bevacizumab showed equal efficacy both in eyes with or without previous DME treatment. Also, combining grid/focal photocoagulation resulted in no apparent short term benefit or adverse outcomes. Further prospective and randomized studies is needed to better determine which patients benefit the most and how often and which concentration the drug should be administered.

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