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Beovu and Wet ARMD: The Future of Macular Treatment?

Oct 19, 2021 | Eye Health | 0 comments

Age-Related Macular Degeneration — or ARMD — is one of the most nagging eye diseases to cause trouble later in life. In fact, the number of ARMD cases in America is expected to present in more than 22 million people by the year 2050. The wet variant of ARMD is particularly dangerous, and generally requires eye injections to keep it at bay.

With many patients receiving injections every few weeks to control their ARMD, a recent new injection medication promises to retain vision like never before. But does it really stand up to the tried-and-true brands? Keep reading to find out!

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration occurs when cells in the retina are not regenerated due to aging or a poor diet, leading to a weakening macula. In contrast to glaucoma which typically eats away at peripheral vision first, ARMD tends to steal central vision at the outset. Most patients experiencing a form of macular degeneration have difficulty seeing something when they focus on it, but can easily pick it out when viewing from the side.

ARMD comes in two ways: dry ARMD and wet ARMD. The terms do not reflect dry eyes or symptoms similar to dry eyes, but actually indicate whether or not the blood vessels inside the eye’s macula are leaking. In the case of dry ARMD, cells in the retina are simply in short supply, and the condition can slowly worsen over the years. Wet ARMD, on the other hand, involves the eye’s vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) proteins producing abnormal blood vessels which rupture into the macula, causing extensive damage.

the view someone would have with age related macular degeneration

Although wet ARMD is far less common than its dry counterpart, leaking fluids inside the eye are much more serious and usually require injections every one to six weeks to prevent further damage, depending on the severity. This makes for frequent trips to the eye doctor just to manage the disease. Considering many patients with wet ARMD are elderly and have a multitude of other doctor visits to juggle, many lose hope with their eye condition and start to neglect their consistent injection appointments, leading to vision which will be forever lost.

Beovu Injection Therapy

Beovu is a new ARMD solution released in 2019. Beovu (brolucizumab-dbll) is an intravitreal injection developed by Novartis, a Swiss company that creates many clinical eye medications, including the popular glaucoma treatment drop Azopt. An injection of Beovu solution slows the activity of VEGF proteins in the eye, ensuring wet ARMD blood vessel production doesn’t get out of control. Studies have shown that on average, Beovu recipients are seeing better results compared to the better-known Eyelea. Couple that with longer interval times between treatment — about two to three months — and you’re looking at a drug that could revolutionize wet ARMD treatment and save the vision of so many people.

Beovu has also shown some cause for concern among some medical professionals. A recent study aimed at figuring out whether Beovu or Eyelea is a better course of treatment was shut down when patients began developing unusual inflammation in their eyes, known as retinal vascular occlusion. This inflammation occurred because Beovu doses were being used every four weeks after the first three initial doses, which was too frequent for patients to handle. Novartis now recommends experts should use the drug every two to three months after three initial monthly doses are finished to avoid any complications.

a medical professional holding a syringe

These risks have led many eye care professionals to be wary of accepting the drug as it is, preferring more clinical testing to be done before the injection can be safely administered to patients. Nevertheless, Beovu has been approved by the FDA for clinical use based on extensive clinical trials, and Novartis classifies the inflammation among the medication’s possible side-effects.

Make Your Eye Doctor Happy and Save Money

Like with any cutting-edge medication or medical device introduced to the healthcare world, you should always ask your doctor for more information before getting ahead of yourself. Your eye doctor wants nothing more than to keep your vision at the best performance possible…especially when it comes to following their eyedrop instructions!

While ARMD doesn’t normally require the use of drops for treatment, many other eye diseases like glaucoma, pink eye, and even common dry eye do! If you find yourself tilting your head back for drops more than you like, a Nanodropper adaptor is the perfect solution to make the dropping process more comfortable while cutting on costs at the same time. Learn more about how you can revolutionize your own eye health today!

a scientist performing experiments in a lab
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