My RS Has a New Strategy for Me
Hi, it's me again. I'm Richard, and I'm the guy that's had AMD for a little over 8 years now. I have wet in one eye and dry in the other. I've had over 60 injections for the wet eye. All 4 of the anti-VEGF drugs have been used on me. I've had in order Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea, and the new one, Beovu.
Loading doses of Beovu
Well, I have just finished the loading doses of Beovu. They call it loading doses because they administer an injection every 4 weeks for 3 months and then step back and analyze how they think I'm reacting to the new drug, Beovu. Beovu is touted as possibly prolonging the time between injections to as much as 12 weeks, which is marvelous! Also, some patients have demonstrated improved visual acuity, being able to read a few more lines on the eye chart! Personally, I'm cautiously optimistic because I experienced an improvement from 20/50 to 20/30 after just 3 injections! I'm hoping the improvement holds, but time will tell.
A combination of Eylea and Beovu
My RS has scheduled me for 5 more injections, 1 every month. But he will alternate drugs giving me Eylea 1 month and Beovu the next for this 5-month series. I'm trying to figure out why he has opted for this strategy. I guess it's because I did pretty well on Eylea for a number of years and Beovu is a new drug, just FDA approved last October 2019. I think he's being cautious and crafty about what is best for me?
Learning about treatments, strategies, and options
Trying to understand in plain language and deciphering ”med-speak” from scientific journals (e.g., New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, and others) can be tough! But, I try anyway, and it serves as fodder for questions I have for my RS. I want to learn about my treatments, strategies, and options. But, I tell ya, it can give you a headache! Sometimes, I feel like a guy that takes a knife to a gunfight! However, I'm stubborn, and I will persist and dredge knowledge out any way I can.
Why am I alternating Beovu injections?
- Why is my RS switching me from Eylea to Beovu? Well, the short answer is; my retina specialist hopes he can extend my injections out to only 1 every 12 weeks versus the every 4-to-6 week pattern I've been on. A very noble goal, and I'm all for it!
- Why after having my 3 loading doses of Beovu (1 every 4 weeks), is he alternating Eylea and Beovu every month for the next 5 months? I pulled this possible explanation from an online medical journal: “I think the majority of physicians who don’t have the experience with Beovu are likely to use it initially on previously treated patients with persistent subretinal or intraretinal fluid on four-to-five-week treatment with Eylea,” Dr. Khanani says.1
A better understanding
I'm not sure, but I know this, I'm closer to understanding it now than I was when I started. It is also kind of fun and challenging to learn about my condition from scientific journals. At the very least, it advances me from where I am now to a place of better understanding.
In a future article, I will try and take we laypeople on an excursion through the jungles of research, that is available to us for free! It's just a few clicks away on our devices, and the more you explore it, the easier it becomes. I wish us all well on our eye health journey.
Are you aware of assistive technology for AMD?