Visudyne (Verteporfin)

(℞) Prescription Required


 VISUDYNE therapy can slow vision loss, slow or stop the growth of the CNV area, and reduce or stop leakage.

Warnings and Precautions

Before using VISUDYNE, tell your doctor if you:

  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Fetal malformations were seen in animal studies for one species (rat) when VISUDYNE was administered during pregnancy. Your doctor will decide with you whether the product should be used.
  • are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. VISUDYNE appears in human breast milk. You and your doctor should discuss whether nursing should be interrupted or treatment postponed. You should not nurse for at least 96 hours after VISUDYNE administration.
  • have liver or gall bladder problems.
  • are using any other medications.

Patients receiving VISUDYNE will become temporarily sensitive to light for 2 days. Therefore you must:

  • protect all parts of your skin and eyes from direct sunlight and bright indoor light. This includes tanning salons, bright halogen lighting, high power lighting used in surgical operating rooms and dental offices, and light-emitting medical devices.
  • wear protective clothing and dark sunglasses when going outdoors. UV sunscreens are NOT effective in protecting against light sensitivity.
  • wear a temporary wristband to remind yourself and others that you are light sensitive.

However, you should not stay in the dark, but you should expose your skin to normal indoor lighting, because this helps break down the drug in the skin.

Accidental spills of VISUDYNE (e.g., on skin) should be wiped up immediately to avoid later photosensitivity reactions when this tissue is exposed to light. Contact with the skin and eyes should be avoided.

Following VISUDYNE therapy, you may develop a short-term disturbance in your vision. You should not attempt to drive or use machines until it goes away.

Side Effects

Changes in vision (including blurring, decreased sharpness, flashes of light and gaps or ‘spider webs' in vision) were among the most frequently reported side effects. If these occur, or if “floaters” or persistent changes in visual field appear, contact your doctor (see Table). These may be signs of a serious condition.

Temporary musculoskeletal pain commonly occurs, during or after infusion, often as chest and back pain which can radiate to other areas including the pelvis, shoulder girdle or ribs.

Other common side effects include weakness, nausea, constipation, hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol or urinary glucose, dry, itchy or painful eyes, aversion to light, decrease in pain or touch sensitivity, sunburn or increased sensitivity to the sun.

Injection site reactions (e.g. pain, swelling, blisters and discolouration) may occur, and can be serious.

Interactions with this medication

Some drugs increase light sensitivity and could increase the potential for skin reactions or affect VISUDYNE activity. These include some antibiotics (tetracyclines, sulfonamides, polymyxin B) and antifungals (griseofulvin), oral diabetes drugs (sulfonylurea antihyperglycemic drugs), and drugs for mental disorders (phenothiazines).

Other drugs that may interact with VISUDYNE include drugs for heart or circulation conditions (calcium channel blockers, blood thinners or anti-clotting drugs, diuretics).

Antioxidant such as beta-carotene or drugs that scavenge free radicals (such as dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), formate, mannitol, and alcohol) may interact with VISUDYNE.

Radiation therapy may also interact with VISUDYNE.

Make sure your doctor knows all the medications you are taking before starting VISUDYNE therapy.

Proper Use of this medication

Usual adult dose:

Your doctor will calculate the correct dose to give you, based on your body surface area. VISUDYNE should only be administered by a qualified health professional in an ophthalmology practice.


If your doctor tells you that you've had an overdose, you will have to protect your skin and eyes from bright light for a longer time than normal. Follow your doctor's instructions.

If you feel you have been given an overdose, consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioner administering the product immediately following the procedure, even if there are no symptoms.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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