IZERVAY™ and SYFOVRE™: Changing the Game for People with Dry AMD

Learning that you have been diagnosed with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be challenging. This condition is known to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans aged 65 and above. Dry AMD is a slow-progressing disease that gradually breaks down light-sensitive cells in the macula. In more advanced cases, geographic atrophy (GA) occurs, which leads to damaged or dead cells in the retina.

Although there is currently no cure for dry AMD or GA, there are new treatment options available that aim to manage and slow down its progression. IZERVAY and SYFOVRE are injectable drugs that were approved by the FDA in 2023 after extensive clinical trials. These injections have shown effectiveness in reducing the progression of geographic atrophy lesions. In this blog post, we will delve into how these injections work and why your Illinois Eye Center doctor may recommend them.

How Does IZERVAY Work?

The retina damage caused by AMD is believed to be associated with an overactive immune system. IZERVAY functions by blocking the activity of specific proteins involved in the immune system. By doing so, IZERVAY can slow down the worsening of retina damage caused by geographic atrophy. Ultimately, this drug aids in slowing the loss of vision associated with this condition. Typically, your doctor will administer IZERVAY injections once a month.

How Does SYFOVRE Work?

SYFOVRE is a complement inhibitor that also attaches to certain proteins in your immune system called complement proteins. By binding to these proteins, SYFOVRE prevents inflammation and damage to the retina caused by the immune system. This helps prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Your Illinois Eye Center doctor will generally administer SYFOVRE injections either monthly or every other month, depending on your needs.

How are These Injections Administered?

Both IZERVAY and SYFOVRE are administered via an injection into the back of the eye. The ophthalmologist may use eye drops to dilate your pupil, allowing for a clear view of the back of your eye. Before the injection, your ophthalmologist will apply topical or subconjunctival anesthesia to numb your eye, ensuring a pain-free experience for you.

Who is Eligible for These Injections?

Not everyone with dry AMD is a suitable candidate for IZERVAY or SYFOVRE injections. Your doctor will evaluate factors such as the stage of the disease, the size of the atrophy, and your overall health to determine the appropriateness of these injections for you. While these injections can slow down disease progression, it’s important to note that they cannot reverse the effects or restore lost vision.

Are There Side Effects?

Like any treatment, IZERVAY and SYFOVRE injections carry potential risks and side effects. The most common side effects include short-term eye irritation or blurred vision. If you experience eye pain, persistent blurry or decreased vision, increased sensitivity to light, eye redness, or discharge from the eye, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. It’s also essential to discuss any less common risks associated with these injections with your doctor before proceeding with treatment.

While there is no cure for dry AMD, IZERVAY and SYFOVRE injections have shown promise in slowing down disease progression. However, it’s important to consult with your Illinois Eye Center doctor to determine if these injections are suitable for your specific situation. As with any treatment, report any adverse effects and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments for the best possible care.

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