Verteporfin

By

Generic Name: Verteporfin Brand Name(s): Verteporfin.

Uses

What is Verteporfin used for?

Verteporfin is commonly used to treat macular degeneration.

How should I take Verteporfin?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

A laser is needed to make verteporfin work.

How do I store Verteporfin?

Verteporfin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Verteporfin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Verteporfin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Verteporfin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Verteporfin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Verteporfin or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have porphyria.

Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.

Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.

Use care when driving or doing other tasks that call for clear eyesight.

Your skin may be more sensitive to light. Avoid sources of bright light for 5 days after you get verteporfin. This includes sun, sunlamps, tanning beds, and bright indoor light. Wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun. Sunscreens will not help. You may also need to avoid using certain medical devices after getting this medicine. Talk with your doctor.

Do not stay in the dark. It is best to get normal amounts of indoor light. Talk with your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using verteporfin while you are pregnant.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Verteporfin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Verteporfin. Verteporfin is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Verteporfin?

Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Flushing
  • Very bad headache.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • Bleeding where the shot is given.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Blurred eyesight.
  • Dry eyes.

This medicine may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Verteporfin?

Verteporfin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Verteporfin?

Verteporfin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Verteporfin?

Verteporfin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Verteporfin.

What is the dose of Verteporfin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Macular Degeneration

Subfoveal choroidal neovascularization: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion.

Bilateral lesions in patients who have never undergone verteporfin therapy: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion. The most aggressive lesion should be treated first. If, after the first treatment, an acceptable safety profile is identified, treatment of the second eye can commence no sooner than one week following the first course.

Bilateral lesions in patients who have undergone previous verteporfin therapy: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion. If the patient showed an acceptable safety profile following the first course of verteporfin therapy then both eyes may be treated concurrently after a single administration of verteporfin. The more aggressive lesion should be treated first 15 minutes after the start of the verteporfin infusion. The treatment of the second eye should be initiated immediately at the end of the light treatment of the first eye using the same light dose and intensity as for the first eye. The treatment of the second eye should start no later than 20 minutes after the start of the verteporfin infusion.

Patients may be retreated in 3 months, if necessary.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Macular Degeneration

Subfoveal choroidal neovascularization: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion.

Bilateral lesions in patients who have never undergone verteporfin therapy: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion. The most aggressive lesion should be treated first. If, after the first treatment, an acceptable safety profile is identified, treatment of the second eye can commence no sooner than one week following the first course.

Bilateral lesions in patients who have undergone previous verteporfin therapy: 6 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously over 10 minutes, once. The drug is photoactivated by 83 seconds of laser light administration (689 nm) commencing 15 minutes after start of the infusion. If the patient showed an acceptable safety profile following the first course of verteporfin therapy then both eyes may be treated concurrently after a single administration of verteporfin. The more aggressive lesion should be treated first 15 minutes after the start of the verteporfin infusion. The treatment of the second eye should be initiated immediately at the end of the light treatment of the first eye using the same light dose and intensity as for the first eye. The treatment of the second eye should start no later than 20 minutes after the start of the verteporfin infusion.

A decreased treatment effect has been reported in elderly patients

Patients may be retreated in 3 months, if necessary.

What is the dose of Verteporfin for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Verteporfin available?

Verteporfin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Solution

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Verteporfin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: November 28, 2017 | Last Modified: November 28, 2017

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.