Harvard Men's Health Watch

Cheaper treatment for vision loss just as safe as expensive option

A review of the best available evidence by the Cochrane Collaboration found no clear difference in safety between two medications used to treat a common form of age-related vision loss. The Cochrane Collaboration consists of doctors, researchers, and patient advocates who conduct independent evaluations of the evidence for or against tests and treatments.

The review focused on bevacizumab (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis), the drugs used to treat age-related macular degeneration. The disease damages the light-sensitive retina in the back of the eye. Many doctors favor Lucentis, the more expensive option, because some research suggests it is safer.

When the Cochrane volunteers compared safety data for both drugs, they concluded there is no difference. The review was limited to nine randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard for assessing the effectiveness and safety of medical treatments.

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