1 What is Macugen?

Brand: Macugen

Generic: Pegaptanib

Macugen is used to treat macular eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disorder of retina which can cause blurring of vision or blindness.

Pegaptanib prevents leaking of blood vessels and also prevents new blood vessel formation in the eye. It is available in the solution form and only with your doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Macugen, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


There are no adequate studies done which prove Pegaptanib has harmful effects in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established.


This medicine does not cause any different side effects or problem than it does in younger adults.


It is a category B drug. It is safe in pregnancy.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Pegaptanib passes into breast milk. If you are using Pegaptanib while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Pegaptanib may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug.

Other Medical Conditions

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness. Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

  • Eye infection or
  • Infection around the eye: Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Glaucoma

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Macugen requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. It is given as an injection into your eye by a doctor or health care professional.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Macugen, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits.

Inform your doctor right away if you develop:

  • eye pain or redness
  • eye or eyelid swelling
  • sensitivity to light
  • vision changes (decreased vision)

5 Potential Side Effects

All medicines have some side effects. Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Macugen to avoid unwanted potential side effects.

Some people may experience none or minor side effects. Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent.

More common are:

  • Bladder pain
  • Blindness
  • Bloody eye
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • Decreased vision or other changes in vision
  • Difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Double vision
  • Drainage from eyes
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Gradual loss of vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Itching of eyelid
  • Looking through water
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea
  • Night blindness
  • Over bright 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
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Less common are:

  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Flushed, dry skin
  • Fruit-like breath odor
  • Headache
  • Hearing loss
  • Inability to speak
  • Increased hunger
  • Numbness or tingling in face, arms, or legs

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

6 Related Clinical Trials