Name: Pegaptanib

Pegaptanib Overview

Pegaptanib is a prescription medication used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Pegaptanib belongs to a group of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonists. These work by stopping abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye(s) that may cause vision loss in people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the eye by a healthcare professional once every six weeks.

Common side effects of pegaptanib include punctate keratitis (inflammation on the surface of the cornea), vitreous floaters or  opacities (small particles in the field of vision), eye pain, and increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). 

Pegaptanib can also cause blurred vision and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how pegaptanib affects you.

Pegaptanib and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy. Pegaptanib falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with pegaptanib. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.  

Pegaptanib Usage

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the eye by a healthcare professional once every six weeks.

Before the treatment is given your eye doctor may ask you to use antibiotic eye drops, or to wash your eyes carefully. Please follow these instructions carefully.

After each injection your doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops or another type of antibiotic treatment to prevent an eye infection.

If you miss a dose, be sure to make a follow up appointment.

Index Terms

  • EYE001
  • Pegaptanib Sodium


Pegaptanib is an apatamer, an oligonucleotide covalently bound to polyethylene glycol, which can adopt a three-dimensional shape and bind to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Pegaptanib binds to extracellular VEGF, selectively inhibiting VEGF from binding to its receptors and thereby suppressing neovascularization and slowing vision loss.


Slow systemic absorption following intravitreous injection


Metabolized by endo- and exonucleases

Half-Life Elimination

Plasma: 10 ± 4 days

Dosing Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience floaters, dizziness, diarrhea, or nausea. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe headache, vision changes, eye pain, severe eye irritation, difficult urination, dysuria, eyelid edema, eye redness, eye discharge, bleeding in eye, or sensitivity to light (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.