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Warning for stroke patients with wet AMD

Patients suffering from wet macular degeneration who have had a stroke are being warned against using bevacizumab (Avastin®) within a 6 month period after the stroke. This is because people who had a bevacizumab eye injection within 3 to 6 months after a stroke had a significantly higher mortality rate than patients who did not receive injections. The study findings were presented at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting. Patients were followed over a period of 73 months. 15 patients received the bevacizumab injection 3 months after their stroke and 34 received the injection within 6 months. 45 patients did not receive any injection. Seven of the patients who received the injection in the 3-month timeframe died during the course of the follow-up and fifteen of the 6-month group died in the study follow-up. The combined mortality rate was an alarming 45% for the injection recipients compared to the 20% mortality rate of the non-injection group. While there was still a higher mortality rate when the injection distances were 12 and 24 months, it was notably smaller. Since these findings warrant additional studies to confirm the correlation, researchers encourage doctors to discuss the safety concerns with their patients.*

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