Syfovre (pegcetacoplan) is a prescription drug that’s used in adults to treat geographic atrophy due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Syfovre comes as a solution that’s injected into your eye.
Syfovre contains the active ingredient pegcetacoplan. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) You’ll receive Syfovre injections at your doctor’s office.
Syfovre is a brand-name medication. Currently, there are no generic forms of Syfovre.
Syfovre can be used in adults with geographic atrophy that’s due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). At this time, Syfovre is the only FDA-approved treatment for this condition.
Geographic atrophy is the most advanced stage of AMD. It occurs when there are lesions or damage to your retina (a thin layer of tissue that lines the back of your eye).
AMD can cause central vision loss. With this condition, you can’t see something directly in front of you. The symptoms of AMD get worse over time without treatment.
It’s thought that the lesions that occur with geographic atrophy related to AMD are caused by an overactive immune system. Syfovre works on your immune system so that it doesn’t attack your eye. This helps prevent lesions from getting worse. But it’s important to note that Syfovre won’t reverse vision damage that’s already occurred.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Syfovre. What you’ll pay for Syfovre may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use.
Here are a few things to consider regarding cost:
- Cost information and savings coupons: You can visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Syfovre when using coupons from the site.
- Savings program: If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called Apellis Assist may also be available.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline. Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.
Like most drugs, Syfovre may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Syfovre may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Syfovre. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Syfovre can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Syfovre’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Syfovre that have been reported include:
- discomfort, pain, or irritation in the eye
- eye floaters (specks in your field of vision)
- bleeding in the eye
- cloudiness of the lens
- swelling of the cornea (the outside layer of your eye)
- feeling like something’s in the eye
- mild allergic reaction*
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Syfovre can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Syfovre, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Syfovre that have been reported include:
- detached retina
- wet age-related macular degeneration
- swelling of the inside of the eye
- temporarily increased pressure in the eye after an injection
- endophthalmitis (a bacterial or fungal infection of the eye)
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Syfovre.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Syfovre. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Syfovre.
Is Syfovre similar to Zimura?
Syfovre may have some similarities to Zimura (avacincaptad pegol). Like Syfovre, Zimura can also be used to treat geographic atrophy due to age-related macular degeneration. But at this time, Zimura is not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means it’s not currently available in the United States.
Zimura is being studied to see whether the drug is safe and effective for people with geographic atrophy. At this time, Syfovre is the only FDA-approved treatment for this condition.
Will Syfovre cure geographic atrophy?
No, Syfovre will not cure geographic atrophy. There’s currently no cure for this condition.
However, Syfovre works to slow the growth of the lesions in your eye that occur with geographic atrophy. This helps prevent your condition from getting worse. But it’s important to note that Syfovre won’t reverse vision damage that’s already occurred.
If you have questions or concerns about what to expect from Syfovre treatment, talk with your doctor.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Syfovre that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but the dosage you receive will be determined by your doctor.
Form and strength
Syfovre is available as a solution that’s injected into your eye. It comes in a vial that contains 150 milligrams (mg) of medication in one milliliter (mL) of solution.
You’ll receive Syfovre injections at your doctor’s office. The usual recommended dosage is 15 mg injected into the affected eye every 25 to 60 days. Your doctor will determine how often you’ll receive doses of Syfovre.
To learn more about Syfovre’s dosage, see this article.
How it’s given
Your doctor will explain how Syfovre will be administered. They’ll also explain how much you’ll receive and how often.
You’ll receive Syfovre injections at your doctor’s office. The medication will be injected into your eye. Before getting your Syfovre injection, your doctor will numb your eye.
Your vision may be temporarily affected after receiving a Syfovre injection. Because of this, you’ll need someone else to drive you home from your injection appointments.
If you have other questions about what to expect from your appointments to receive Syfovre, talk with your doctor.
Questions about receiving Syfovre
Below are some common questions about using Syfovre.
- Should I take Syfovre with food? You can receive Syfovre either after eating or on an empty stomach. The drug comes as a solution that’s injected into your eye, so it’s not affected by food.
- What if I miss a dose of Syfovre? You’ll receive Syfovre injections at your doctor’s office. If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of Syfovre, reschedule it as soon as possible.
- Will I need to use Syfovre long term? In most cases, yes. Syfovre works to slow the progression of geographic atrophy that’s due to age-related macular degeneration. As long as the drug is effective for you without causing bothersome side effects, your treatment will likely continue long term.
Below is important information you should consider before using Syfovre.
Taking a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.
Before starting Syfovre treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether it’s safe to receive Syfovre injections during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
At this time, there aren’t enough studies to determine what effects Syfovre may have on a fetus. It’s also not known whether Syfovre passes into breastmilk or what effects the drug may have on a child who’s breastfed.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before starting Syfovre treatment.
If you can become pregnant, it’s important to use birth control, such as condoms or birth control pills, during your Syfovre treatment and for 40 days after your last dose. This is because it’s not known whether the drug may be safe to take during pregnancy.
If you have questions about using birth control during your Syfovre treatment, talk with your doctor.
Syfovre can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Syfovre is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Syfovre. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:
At this time, there aren’t any other drugs available to treat geographic atrophy due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But other treatment options for this condition are being studied to see whether they may be safe or effective. These treatment options may become available if they receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Other drugs that are approved to treat AMD include:
Although these drugs treat AMD, it’s important to note that they’re not approved for geographic atrophy. If you have questions about your treatment options for AMD, talk with your doctor.
If you have questions about taking Syfovre, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- If Syfovre isn’t working for me, can my dose be increased?
- How can I manage side effects that I’m experiencing from Syfovre?
- What can I do if I can’t afford Syfovre?
- What should I do if I become pregnant while taking this medication?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.