Verteporfin injection is used in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT; treatment with a laser light) to treat abnormal growth of leaky blood vessels in the eye caused by wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD; an ongoing disease of the eye that causes loss of the ability to see straight ahead and may make it more difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities), pathologic myopia (a serious form of nearsightedness that worsens with time), or histoplasmosis (a fungal infection) of the eye. Verteporfin is in a class of medications called photosensitizing agents. When verteporfin is activated by light, it closes up the leaking blood vessels.
Verteporfin injection comes as a solid powder cake to be made into a solution to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor. Verteporfin is usually infused over 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes after the start of the verteporfin infusion, your doctor will administer a special laser light to your eye. If both of your eyes need treatment, the doctor will administer the laser light to your second eye immediately after the first eye. If you have never used verteporfin before and both your eyes need treatment, the doctor will treat only one eye with the laser light on your first visit. If you do not have any serious problems due to the treatment, the doctor will treat your second eye 1 week later with another verteporfin infusion and laser light treatment.
Your doctor will examine your eyes 3 months after verteporfin and PDT treatment to decide whether you need another treatment.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
pain, redness, swelling, or discoloration at the site of the injection
back pain during the infusion
dry, itchy skin
muscle pain or weakness
decreased sensitivity to touch
decrease or changes in vision
seeing flashes of light
black spots in vision
redness and swelling of the eyelid
shortness of breath
rapid or irregular heartbeat
lack of energy
hives and itching
Verteporfin injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.