Avastin is a drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is also used to treat diabetic eye disease and other problems of the retina. It is injected into the eye to help slow vision loss from these diseases.
Avastin is the brand name for the drug, which is called bevacizumab. It blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye. Those blood vessels can leak and affect vision, causing vision loss from wet AMD and diabetic eye disease.
Avastin is one of several anti-VEGF treatments that are injected into the eye.
Avastin was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat different cancer types. Its use to treat eye disease is considered “off-label” use. The FDA allows “off label” drug use if doctors are well informed about the product, and studies prove the drug is helpful.
Lucentis® (ranibizumab) is another drug like Avastin. Research shows that both Avastin and Lucentis are equally effective in slowing vision loss.
Information on this drug was provided by Dr. David Turbert.