Bevacizumab for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration

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Annals of Pharmacotherapy


Objective: To review data regarding the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nARMD). DATA SOURCES: Literature was searched using MEDLINE (1976-September 2011) and EMBASE (1973-September 2011). Search terms included bevacizumab, Avastin, neovascular macular degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, vascular endothelial growth factor, intravitreal, and safety. Reference citations were reviewed for relevant information. Study Selection and Data Extraction: All randomized clinical trials published in English with data assessing the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab for nARMD were evaluated. Data Synthesis: The only Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for nARMD are photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin, intravitreal pegaptanib, and ranibizumab. However, bevacizumab has gained attention as a potential agent in treating nARMD and is now widely used in practice. PDT with verteporfin and pegaptanib has shown only stabilization of visual acuity (VA). When the efficacy of bevacizumab was compared to these therapies, bevacizumab clinically and statistically improved VA outcomes. When compared to ranibizumab, which has also been shown to improve VA, bevacizumab showed no significant difference in VA outcomes and was associated with a decrease in average annual cost of $22,805. Conclusions: Bevacizumab administered intravitreally is appropriate for prevention of vision loss and recovery of VA in patients with nARMD. Although further analysis of long-term effects of bevacizumab on VA and safety is needed, it is potentially a more cost-effective option than ranibizumab for the treatment of nARMD.

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