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    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


    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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