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Age-related macular degeneration


Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe visual impairment in older adults in the western world and, in the UK, it is estimated that over a quarter of a million adults suffer blindness because of it. This article describes the condition and its diagnosis and gives a clear role to pharmacists, in giving advice on dietary factors and supplements, helping to recognise and prevent the disease, and explaining the issues behind the available treatments.

To read the full article download the attached PDF (960K)

Elaine Mann MRPharmS, is the ophthalmic, ENT, maxillofacial and dental lead pharmacist at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and chairman of the UK Ophthalmic Pharmacy Group.


The Royal National Institute of Blind People ( provides patient information leaflets in large clear print, Braille and audio CD. It also runs a free medicines information line so that patients can listen to information leaflets (0800 198 5000).

The Macular Disease Society website ( has a series of information leaflets that can be printed or downloaded onto an MP3 player.

AMD Alliance International ( is a source of information about AMD. The website includes patient videos on living with the disease.


  1. AREDS Age related eye disease study.
  2. NICE. Guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration. TA68, 2003.
  3. Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Age-related macular degeneration guidelines for management Feb 2009 (under review)
  4. NICE. Ranibizumab and pegaptanib for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. TA155, 2008.
  5. ANCHOR Anti-VEGF antibody for the treatment of predominantly classic choroidal neovascularisation in AMD.
  6. MARINA Minimally Classic/Occult Trial of the Anti-VEGF Antibody Ranibizumab in the Treatment of Neo¬vas¬cular AMD.
  7. PrONTO Prospective optical coherence tomography imaging of patients with intraocular ranibizumab.
  8. CATT Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration treatments
  9. Royal College of Ophthalmologists. RCOphth Review concludes that Avastin and Lucentis are equally effective in treating wet AMD 14/12/11
  10. IVAN Randomised controlled trial of alternative treatments to Inhibit VEGF in Age related choroidal Neovascularisation.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11097826

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