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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Visudyne

Generic Name: verteporfin (Pronunciation: VER te PORE fin)

What is verteporfin (Visudyne)?

Verteporfin works by enhancing the eye's sensitivity to light. Verteporfin affects abnormal blood vessels in the eye.

Verteporfin is used together with "photodynamic" laser light therapy to treat blood vessel disorders in the eye caused by macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

Verteporfin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of verteporfin (Visudyne)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; sweating; dizziness; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe decrease in vision;
  • sudden and severe pain;
  • severe redness or other discoloration of your eyes;
  • eye pain or seeing halos around lights;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • chest pain; or
  • warmth or tingly feeling under your skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • slight changes in your vision, seeing flashes of light;
  • dry eyes;
  • redness, swelling, or itching of your eyelids;
  • seeing flashes of light;
  • headache;
  • weak or tired feeling;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • constipation, nausea;
  • joint pain, muscle weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, flu symptoms; or
  • pain, swelling, bleeding, or itching where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about verteporfin (Visudyne)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to verteporfin, or if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

Before receiving verteporfin, tell your doctor if you have liver or gallbladder disease, or if you are receiving radiation treatment.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

Verteporfin will make your eyes and your skin more sensitive to light. After receiving verteporfin, you must protect your eyes and skin from natural sunlight and bright indoor light for at least 5 days..

Wear dark sunglasses and keep all parts of your skin covered with clothing. Sunscreen will not be effective in protecting you from UV rays during the 5-day period after you have received verteporfin.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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