Macugen is prescribed to treat age-related macular degeneration—a disease where new blood vessels grow under the retina and leak blood and fluid. Macugen works by keeping new blood vessels from forming under the retina. It was manufactured by Eyetech Pharmacueticals Inc. and Pfizer, and was FDA approved in 2004.

In 2006, Macugen’s manufacturers warned doctors and patients about new side effects that were discovered. A condition called angiodema has been linked to Macugen, which causes swelling around the eye, lips, genitals, hands and feet.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Eye pain or redness, swelling around your eyes
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Seeing flashes of light or “floaters” in your vision
  • Eyes being more sensitive to light
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Mild eye pain or discomfort after the injection
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