To determine if prophylactic use of intraocular pressure (IOP)–lowering medication is effective in reducing the IOP spikes after intravitreal injections of pegaptanib, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab.
Seventy-one patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration received intravitreal injections of 1 of 3 anti–vascular endothelial growth factor medications: 30 patients received pegaptanib (0.09 mL), 47 patients received bevacizumab (0.05 mL), and 42 patients received ranibizumab (0.05 mL). Intraocular pressure–lowering medication, 1 hour prior to the injection, was used 63%, 74%, and 66% of the time in eyes that received pegaptanib, ranibizumab, and bevacizumab, respectively. Intraocular pressure was measured prior to injection, within 1 minute after injection, and every 5 to 10 minutes until the pressure was reduced to a safe level.
All 3 intravitreal injections caused significant initial IOP spikes (mean [SD] IOP of 38.5 [11.56] mm Hg in the pegaptanib group, 37.75 [8.36] mm Hg in the ranibizumab group, and 34.88 [10.45] mm Hg in the bevacizumab group). The IOP reduced to less than 30 mm Hg in all 3 groups within 20 minutes. Prophylactic medication did not prevent postinjection IOP spikes. Patients with and without glaucoma showed a similar rate of IOP normalization over time in all 3 groups.
Intraocular pressure spikes after intravitreal injection of pegaptanib, ranibizumab, and bevacizumab are common and in most cases transient. Routine prophylactic use of IOP-lowering medications is essentially ineffective in preventing IOP spikes after intravitreal injection of pegaptanib, ranibizumab, and bevacizumab and therefore not necessary before the injection.