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HomeminewsEylea Listed for Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

Eylea Listed for Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

Australians diagnosed with visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) have a new and promising treatment option following inclusion of Eylea (aflibercept) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 December 2016.1

More than 90,000 Australians are believed to live with BRVO,2,3 a condition that can also be referred to as ‘eye stroke’4 and occurs when a blood clot causes a blockage in the vessels in the back of the eye.4 This blockage can lead to vision loss or blurring in part or all of one eye and may happen suddenly or become worse over several hours or days.5,6 In some cases there can be sudden and severe loss of vision.6

Professor Paul Mitchell, Head of Ophthalmology at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital said the inclusion of EYLEA on the PBS for this indication will provide patients with a new treatment option for this sometimes sudden and frightening condition.6

“In the case of BRVO it can affect vision without any notice. For some it may be gradual blurring but for others it can be sudden and severe vision loss,”6 he said.

Eylea blocks VEGF receptors believed to be involved in the growth of new blood vessels and the weakening of vessel walls in the retina that leads to swelling and leakage in the macular oedema.8,9 The macular is responsible for detailed, central vision.9 For visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to BRVO, treatment with EYLEA involves one injection per month for three consecutive months. After the first three monthly injections, the treatment interval may be adjusted based on visual and/or anatomic outcomes.8

TGA approved indications

Eylea (aflibercept) is indicated for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration, diabetetic macular oedema, visual impairment due to myopic choroidal neovascularisation, visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).8

Important safety information

The most frequently observed adverse reactions (in at least 5 per cent of patients treated with Eylea) were conjunctival haemorrhage – bloodshot eye caused by bleeding from small blood vesses in the outer layers of the eye or bleeding at the injection site (25.0 per cent), visual acuity reduced – visual disturbance or deterioration of eyesight (11.1 per cent), eye pain (10.2 per cent), cataract – clouding of the lens (7.6 per cent), intraocular pressure increased – increase in eye pressure (7.5 per cent), vitreous detachment (7.4 per cent), and vitreous floaters – perception of having something floating in the eye (floaters) or sensation that something is in the eye (6.9 per cent).8

1. Australian Government Department of Health Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Retrieved from www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/10505X-2168D
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Quarterly Population Estimates (ERP), by State/Territory, Sex and Age. Retrieved from www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/DetailsPage/3235.02015?OpenDocument
3. Mitchell.P, Smith. W, Chang. A. Prevalence and associations of retinal vein occlusion in Australia. The Blue Mountains Eye Study. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996 Oct; 114(10): 1243–1247.
4. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is a stroke affecting the eye? Retrieved from www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-stroke-affecting-eye
5. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)? Retrieved from www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-branch-retinal-vein-occlusion
6. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) Symptoms. Retrieved from www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/branch-retinal-vein-occlusion-symptoms
7. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Who is at risk for Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/branch-retinal-vein-occlusion-risk
8. EYLEA Product Information. Retrieved from www.bayerresources.com.au/resources/uploads/PI/file10294.pdf
9. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Macular Edema? Retrieved from www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-macular-edema