5-Fluorouracil for Glaucoma
5-fluorouracil is a medication that can help prevent scar tissue from forming. Scar tissue forms naturally as a wound heals. Scar tissue that forms near the new drainage opening created during glaucoma surgery can narrow or close it completely. 5-fluorouracil is injected under the lining of the eye (conjunctiva) at the first sign that the opening may be closing off after surgery. It may be used during surgery to prevent scar tissue from forming.
Treatment with 5-fluorouracil can be painful. Numbing medications (anesthetics) can be applied to the eye to decrease pain when the 5-fluorouracil is injected.
5-fluorouracil has side effects, which are generally mild and do not last long. However, sometimes these side effects can be quite serious. Serious side effects include:
Injections of 5-fluorouracil can be given daily, and the effects of each injection are carefully watched before it is decided to inject more medication.
Another medication, mitomycin-C, is more commonly used during glaucoma surgery to prevent scarring, but it cannot be injected after surgery as 5-fluorouracil can.
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