Verteporfin is used along with laser light treatment to treat certain serious eye conditions (e.g., macular degeneration, pathologic myopia, ocular histoplasmosis). It is used to help prevent decreased vision and blindness. After you have received the injection of verteporfin, your doctor will use laser light treatment on the affected eye(s). The laser light will change the drug to a form that works by damaging only those cells that cause the serious eye problem.
Use precautions to keep the drug from leaking out of the vein while it is being given (extravasation). If leaking occurs, the injection should be stopped and a cold pack/compress should be applied to the affected area. Protect the area from light until swelling and discoloration go away.
Your doctor will treat your affected eye with laser light about 15 minutes after you receive this medication. If you have any questions about the treatment, consult your doctor.
Wear a wristband for 5 days after receiving this drug to notify other health care professionals that you have received this drug and to remind you to avoid bright lights (e.g., halogen lights) and direct sunlight. However, do not stay in totally dark areas after treatment. You should expose your skin to regular indoor/indirect light because doing so will help stop any drug in your skin from causing damage to skin cells. If any of the information is unclear, consult your doctor. (See also Precautions section.)
Avoid contact of this medication with the eyes and skin during preparation and handling. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection if you handle this medication. Accidental spills should be wiped up with a damp cloth and disposed of properly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), flushing, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to verteporfin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease.
This medication will make you more sensitive to the sun and to bright indoor lights. Avoid sun exposure, halogen lights, high-powered indoor lighting used in operating rooms/dental offices, tanning booths, and sunlamps for at least 5 days after receiving this medication. Wear protective clothing and dark sunglasses when outdoors. Sunscreens will not provide protection.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication. It is recommended that you avoid surgery/dental procedures for at least 5 days after receiving a dose of this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: antioxidants (e.g., beta carotene, mannitol, dimethylsulfoxide-DMSO), "blood thinners" (e.g., aspirin, ticlopidine, warfarin), calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil), polymyxin B.
If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medicine that may make you more sensitive to light, especially: griseofulvin, phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine), sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole, glyburide), tetracycline antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline, tetracycline), certain "water pills" (e.g., thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Your doctor will schedule periodic eye exams to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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