What is verteporfin used for?
- Verteporfin is used to treat macular degeneration.
Before taking verteporfin, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to verteporfin; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have porphyria.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with verteporfin.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take verteporfin with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take verteporfin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take verteporfin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.
- Use care when driving or doing other tasks that call for clear eyesight.
- Your skin may be more sensitive to light. Avoid sources of bright light for 5 days after you get verteporfin. This includes sun, sunlamps, tanning beds, and bright indoor light. Wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun. Sunscreens will not help. You may also need to avoid using certain medical devices after getting verteporfin. Talk with your doctor.
- Do not stay in the dark. It is best to get normal amounts of indoor light. Talk with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using verteporfin while you are pregnant.
How is verteporfin best taken?
Use verteporfin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- A laser is needed to make verteporfin work.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are the side effects of verteporfin that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Very bad headache.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Sweating a lot.
- Shortness of breath.
- Fast or slow heartbeat.
- Bleeding where the shot is given.
- This medicine may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.
What are some other side effects of verteporfin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Blurred eyesight.
- Dry eyes.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out verteporfin?
- If you need to store verteporfin at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use and disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about verteporfin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take verteporfin or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to verteporfin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.