VERTEPORFIN is used to treat macular degeneration. It is activated by light. This medication is given, then the eye(s) are treated with a laser light. This is called photodynamic therapy (PDT). This treatment results in a slowing of the disease and helps to maintain vision. Compare photoenhancers.

What is Visudyne?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Visudyne

Therapeutic ClassificationsPhotosensitizing Agent




Verteporfin is used together with a special laser light, to treat abnormal blood vessel formation in a part of the eye which, if left untreated, can lead to a loss of eyesight.

Verteporfin may also be used for the following problems:

  • Pathologic myopia (changes in the eyeball causing vision problems);
  • Ocular histoplasmosis (damage to the eye from a fungus found in the soil)

This medicine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Proper UseTOP

Treatment with verteporfin and laser light occurs in two steps. First, the verteporfin is injected into your body. Second, 15 minutes later, a laser light is directed at the affected eye.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of verteporfin in children with use in other age groups.


Studies show that the effects of verteporfin are less in patients 75 years of age or older.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Liver function impairment
  • Porphyria—Sensitivity to light may be increased
  • Previous reaction to verteporfin—Reaction is more likely to occur again


For 5 days after you receive an injection of verteporfin, your eyes will be extra sensitive to light, including sunlight and bright indoor lights. Certain types of sunglasses can help protect your eyes during this time. Check with your doctor about which sunglasses to use.

For 5 days after you receive an injection of verteporfin, your skin will be extra sensitive to sunlight and to very bright indoor lights, such as tanning lamps, bright halogen lighting and lights in dental offices or operating rooms. Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight or to bright indoor lights during this time. Sunscreens will not protect your skin from a severe reaction to light (blistering, burning, and swelling of the skin). However, exposure to normal amounts of indoor light (for example, daylight or light from lamps with shades) will help clear up the verteporfin remaining in your skin. Therefore, do not protect your skin from normal amounts of indoor light. If you have any questions about whether the light in your home is too bright, check with your doctor or nurse. If you do have a severe reaction to light, call your doctor immediately.

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