verteporfin

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verteporfin

Pronunciation:VER te PORE fin
Brand:Visudyne

What is the most important information I should know about verteporfin?

donotYou should not receive this medication if you are allergic to verteporfin, or if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

Before receiving verteporfin, tell your doctor if you have liver or gallbladder disease, or if you are receiving radiation treatment.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

nosunVerteporfin will make your eyes and your skin more sensitive to light. After receiving verteporfin, you must protect your eyes and skin from natural sunlight and bright indoor light for at least 5 days..

Wear dark sunglasses and keep all parts of your skin covered with clothing. Sunscreen will not be effective in protecting you from UV rays during the 5-day period after you have received verteporfin.

What is verteporfin?

Verteporfin works by enhancing the eye's sensitivity to light. Verteporfin affects abnormal blood vessels in the eye.

Verteporfin is used together with "photodynamic" laser light therapy to treat blood vessel disorders in the eye caused by macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

Verteporfin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive verteporfin?

donotYou should not receive this medication if you are allergic to verteporfin, or if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. Before receiving verteporfin, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • gallbladder disease; or
  • if you are receiving radiation treatment.
nopregFDA pregnancy category C. Verteporfin may be harmful to an unborn baby. Before you receive verteporfin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
nobrfeedVerteporfin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is verteporfin given?

Verteporfin is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take at least 10 minutes to complete.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

You will receive laser light treatment to your eye(s) within 15 minutes after the start of your verteporfin infusion.

nosunAfter receiving verteporfin, you must protect your eyes from natural sunlight and bright indoor light for at least 5 days.. For best protection, wear dark sunglasses whenever you are outdoors or while indoors under bright lighting.

You should not stay in the dark while you are indoors, as this can actually cause the drug to stay active in your body longer. It is best to spend your time in ambient indoor light such as indirect sunlight through a window, or low-wattage incandescent lighting. Avoid areas where you will be exposed to halogen or fluorescent light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since verteporfin is given by a healthcare professional only in preparation for laser light treatment, you will not be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include severely decreased vision.

What should I avoid after I receive verteporfin?

nosunVerteporfin will make your eyes and your skin more sensitive to light. Natural sunlight and bright indoor light can expose you to harmful UV rays, which may cause severe sunburn or damage to your vision.

Avoid exposure to sunlight, tanning beds, bright halogen lights, or other bright lighting for at least 5 days after you are treated with verteporfin.

To avoid exposing your skin to sunlight, keep all parts of your skin covered with clothing. Sunscreen will not be effective in protecting you from UV rays during the 5-day period after you have received verteporfin.

dizzyVerteporfin can cause side effects that may impair your vision. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

What are the possible side effects of verteporfin?

emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; sweating; dizziness; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
emtTell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • severe decrease in vision;
  • sudden and severe pain;
  • severe redness or other discoloration of your eyes;
  • eye pain or seeing halos around lights;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • chest pain; or
  • warmth or tingly feeling under your skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • slight changes in your vision, seeing flashes of light;
  • dry eyes;
  • redness, swelling, or itching of your eyelids;
  • seeing flashes of light;
  • headache;
  • weak or tired feeling;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • constipation, nausea;
  • joint pain, muscle weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, flu symptoms; or
  • pain, swelling, bleeding, or itching where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect verteporfin?

The following drugs can interact with verteporfin. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • dimethyl sulfoxide (Rimso-50);
  • griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grisactin);
  • polymyxin B (Polytrim, AK-Poly-Bac, Ocumycin, Polysporin Ophthalmic, Polytracin Ophthalmic);
  • diabetes medications you take by mouth;
  • birth control pills;
  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • a sulfa drug (Bactrim, Gantanol, Septra, and others);
  • medication used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and urokinase (Abbokinase);
  • medicine to treat mental illness, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), mesoridazine (Serentil), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluperazine (Stelazine);
  • an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), and others;
  • a tetracycline antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap); or
  • a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with verteporfin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about verteporfin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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