Anti-VEGF injections are not only uncomfortable for your patients; they’re also very cost-prohibitive. Researchers are working to develop new means of treating wet AMD that will reduce the frequency of anti-VEGF injections while improving outcomes, especially for those that are or have become non-responsive to treatments.
Since every case is different and has its own complexities, there are no hard and fast rules to determine the best course of action for your patients. As new drugs and other forms of treatments are developed, ensuring you understand how they may be beneficial to your patients is critical. One of the best ways to reduce the frequency of anti-VEGF injections to date is by applying a combination of current treatments.
Some doctors can decrease the injection intervals by switching or alternating the medications used to dry the retina. One doctor in particular, who co-wrote the PRONTO study focusing on alternative dosing schedules, has found that many of his patients benefited from a dosing regimen that alternates between Avastin and Lucentis. While Lucentis is significantly more costly and chemically similar to Avastin, it tends to dry the retina faster, which can result in fewer doses. While follow-up appointments to monitor possible fluid buildup or return are still critical, not every appointment may require injections using this method.
While it has not been confirmed in a controlled study at this time, some doctors have been successful with combining Avastin injections with photodynamic therapy (PDT). Using diagnostic instruments to carefully monitor patients, this combined therapy is decreasing the frequency of injections for some patients, particularly those who also suffer from polypoidal lesions.
Advancements in less-invasive treatments for your wet AMD patients are being made on various fronts. However, their best chance at a successful outcome is still early detection. Optos is a leading provider of diagnostic instruments that can provide you and your patients the best possible outcomes for their vision, from early detection to detailed monitoring. Contact us to learn how partnering with us can significantly advance your practice.
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