Side effects of Avastin are minimal

February 27, 2008

The side effects and complications associated with intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) are minimal and can be prevented, in most cases, by careful injection and good patient selection.

The side effects and complications associated with intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) are minimal and can be prevented, in most cases, by careful injection and good patient selection, according to the results of a Mexican study.

Maria Ana Martinez-Castellanos and colleagues from Hospital Luis Sánchez Bulnes, Mexico, carried out 3,517 intravitreal injections of 2.5 mg bevacizumab over a two-year period. The study included people with diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration and other ocular conditions. The mean age of subjects was 52.8 years (range: two months to 80 years), the mean visual acuity (VA) prior to injection was 20/63 (range: 20/25 to 20/1250).

Complications recorded included four cases of endophthalmitis, five cases of tractional retinal detachment, one case of vitreous haemorrhage and one case of vitreous leakage at the injection site. The mean time between injection and the development of an adverse event was 12.7 days (range three to 32 days) and the median time between the adverse event and its resolution was 11.3 days. A total of nine subjects required surgery (vitrectomy) to resolve the complication. No patient suffered systemic complications.

It was the conclusion of this research group that complications associated with intravitreal bevacizumab are minimal and can be prevented, in most cases, by careful patient selection and standard injection procedures.

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