Doctors, not patients, give injections for macular degeneration because the shots are placed directly into the eyes, according to Mayo Clinic. The eye is numbed before the injection, explains the BrightFocus Foundation explains. These treatments are used for wet macular degeneration, which is caused by leaky blood vessels in the eye.
Several medications are used to treat wet macular degeneration. They help stop the growth of the abnormal blood vessels that spill blood or fluid and cause vision loss, says Mayo Clinic. For three months, aflibercept -- brand name Eylea -- is given every four weeks, but then injections shift to every two months, the BrightFocus Foundation reports. Side effects are uncommon but include bleeding in the conjunctiva, eye pain, risk of cataract and increased eye pressure.
Ranibizumab is the generic form of Lucentis, explains the BrightFocus Foundation. Its side effects are similar to those of aflibercept. Bevacizumab, known as Avastin, is a cancer medication used off-label to treat macular degeneration. Because this drug is not produced for treating eye disease, its side effects are unclear. Injections of both ranibizumab and bevacizumab are given about once a month.
The generic form of the brand name drug Macugen is pegaptanib sodium, the BrightFocus Foundation notes. Its schedule is once every six weeks, but it is not used to treat macular degeneration as often as other drugs. Its side effects include discomfort, inflammation, bleeding and swelling of the eye.