Pegaptanib (Intraocular route)



Brand Names:

  • Macugen

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution



Ophthalmologic Agent

Uses of This Medicine:

Pegaptanib is used to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disorder of the retina of the eye that causes blurring of vision or blindness .

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of pegaptanib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pegaptanib in the elderly .


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Eye infection—Pegaptanib should NOT be used in patients with an infection in or around the eye .
  • Glaucoma—This medicine may increase eye pressure after injection. Your doctor will monitor your eye pressure during the week after every injection .

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A doctor will give you this medicine. Pegaptanib is given through a shot into your eye. .

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you receive this medicine .

Serious eye problems may occur after treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor immediately if your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, painful or develops a change in vision several days after your treatment.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Bladder pain
bloody eye
bloody or cloudy urine
blurred vision
burning, dry, or itching eyes
cough producing mucus
decreased vision or other changes in vision
difficult, burning, or painful urination
difficulty breathing
discharge, excessive tearing
disturbed color perception
double vision
drainage from eyes
eye pain
frequent urge to urinate
gradual loss of vision
halos around lights
itching of eyelid
looking through water
lower back or side pain
night blindness
overbright appearance of lights
painful irritation of the clear front part of the eye
redness, pain, swelling of eye, eyelid, or inner lining of eyelid
seeing flashes or sparks of light
seeing floating spots before the eyes
shortness of breath
sore eyes
swelling of the eye
tightness in chest
tunnel vision
Less Common
Bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
change in vision not present before treatment
chest pain
decrease in frequency of urination
decrease in urine volume
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
dizziness or lightheadedness
dry mouth
eye irritation
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
hearing loss
inability to speak
increased hunger
increased sensitivity of eyes to light
increased thirst
increased urination
loss of consciousness
numbness or tingling in face, arms, or legs
seeing floaters, veil or curtain appearing across part of vision
sensation of spinning
severe or sudden headache
slurred speech
temporary blindness
trouble speaking, thinking, or walking
troubled breathing
unexplained weight loss
weakness in arm and/or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
Incidence not determined
Difficulty swallowing
fast heartbeat
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
skin rash
unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Less common
Acid or sour stomach
blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of skin
difficulty in moving
itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, swelling of skin
muscle pain or stiffness
pain, swelling, or redness in joints
stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Last Updated: 5/1/2020
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