What Is Eylea® (aflibercept)?
Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: May 2023 | Last updated: May 2023
There are two kinds of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): dry AMD, in which light-sensitive photoreceptors and supporting retinal pigment cells in the macula break down; and wet AMD, in which abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina that can leak or bleed, causing damage.1
This abnormal blood vessel growth can also be seen in myopic macular degeneration (MMD). Though AMD is not curable, there are treatments to help slow progression of the disease and preserve existing vision.2
What is anti-VEGF therapy?
One of these treatments involves eye injections with medications known as anti-VEGF drugs. Anti-VEGF drugs bind or trap VEGF, which is a protein that stimulates the growth of blood vessels. When VEGF is produced in the eyes, it not only promotes the growth of new blood vessels, but these vessels tend to be abnormally weak and prone to leakage, which can cause damage to the retina and loss of vision.3
There are several anti-VEGF drugs. One of these is called Eylea® (aflibercept).4
How does Eylea work?
Eylea is given as an intravitreal injection, or injection into the eye. This is done in your doctor’s office. The drug acts as a decoy receptor for VEGF in order to trap it and prevent it from promoting abnormal blood vessel growth. This helps to preserve your existing vision and slow the progression of wet AMD.4
What are possible side effects of Eylea?
Any medication or treatment procedure has the possibility of side effects, and Eylea is no different. Everyone is different. Some people might have one or more side effect, while others might not experience any.
Common side effects of Eylea can include:4
- Eye pain or irritation
- Eye redness
- Floaters (temporary)
- Mild blurred vision (for a day or two)
More serious complications may include:4
- Retinal detachment
- Vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding inside the eye)
- Increased intraocular pressure
- Blood clots or stroke
- Hypersensitivity (inflammatory reaction)
These are not all the possible side effects of Eylea. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Eylea. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Eylea.
Things to know about Eylea
Eylea will not cure AMD, but it may help to slow down the progression of wet AMD and help preserve your existing vision. If you and your doctor are discussing anti-VEGF medication, Eylea is one of several treatment options from which to choose.4
Tell your eye doctor if you are pregnant, thinking about trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.4
Before beginning treatment for macular degeneration, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.