The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use for Eylea (aflibercept) injection to treat diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema. In February, the FDA approved Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) 0.3 mg to treat DR in patients with DME.
In 2008, 33 percent of adults with diabetes aged 40 years or older had some form of DR. In some cases of DR with diabetic macular edema (DME), abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Severe vision loss or blindness can occur if the new blood vessels break.
Eylea is administered by a physician as an injection into the eye once a month for the first five injections and then once every two months. It is intended to be used along with appropriate interventions to control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.