Eye diseases

Bevacizumab as effective as aflibercept for central retinal vein occlusion

Off-label drug is as effective as standard treatment for macular oedema, according to randomised controlled trial.

Retinal image showing macular oedema

Source: Shutterstock.com

Researchers have demonstrated the efficacy of bevacizumab for treating macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion.

Bevacizumab is frequently used off-label for treating macular oedema resulting from central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), despite a lack of supporting data.

In a study published in JAMA[1] (online, 9 May 2017), researchers carried out a randomised trial to establish whether the drug is non-inferior to aflibercept, a licensed treatment for CRVO with a similar mode of action. After six months of injections every four weeks, the mean change in visual acuity letter score increased by 18.6 in the bevacizumab group (n=182) and by 18.9 in the aflibercept group (n=180), a difference between the two groups that met the criteria for non-inferiority.

The researchers say the results demonstrate the efficacy of this class of drugs for treating macular oedema secondary to CRVO, but long-term follow up is needed to assess the treatment needs of this group of patients over time.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2017.20202866

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