Pharmacokinetic evaluation of pegaptanib octasodium for the treatment of diabetic edema

Rupal Morjaria, Ngai Victor Chong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a leading cause of visual impairment in patients with diabetic retinopathy. Pegaptanib octasodium (Macugen) was the first anti-VEGF agent approved for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration. It is a selective anti-VEGF agent, which only blocks VEGF. It has been shown to be safe and effective in treatment of DME in randomized controlled trials and it may be a safer first-line treatment in patients with diabetes with a predisposition to cardiovascular risk factors.Areas covered: This review covers the pharmacokinetics of pegaptanib octasodium. The authors also evaluate pegaptanib octasodium's clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability in DME.Expert opinion: DME is the most common cause of visual loss in patients with diabetes. Pegaptanib has been found to be more effective than laser therapy alone for center-involving DME, its efficacy might be slightly worse than other pan-VEGF blockers, but the number of patients that have significant improvement of vision after treatment are similar to those treated with pan-VEGF blockers. As a selective VEGF blocker, it may have a better ocular and systemic safety profile than pan-VEGF blocking agents. It is reasonable to consider pegaptanib as the first-line treatment for center-involving DME with pan-VEGF blockers reserved for non-responders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1192
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • diabetic macular edema
  • expert review
  • Macugen
  • pegaptanib octasodium


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