The International Intravitreal Bevacizumab Safety Survey: Using the internet to assess drug safety worldwide

A. E. Fung, P. J. Rosenfeld, E. Reichel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

509 Scopus citations


Aim: Off-label intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (Avastin) have been given for the treatment of neovascular and exudative ocular diseases since May 2005. Since then, the use of intravitreal bevacizumab has spread worldwide, but the drug-related adverse events associated with its use have been reported only in a few retrospective reviews. The International Intravitreal Bevacizumab Safety Survey was initiated to gather timely information regarding adverse events from doctors around the world via the internet. Methods: An internet-based survey was designed to identify adverse events associated with intravitreal bevacizumab treatment. The survey web address was disseminated to the international vitreoretinal community via email. Rates of adverse events were calculated from participant responses. Results: 70 centres from 12 countries reported on 7113 injections given to 5228 patients. Doctor-reported adverse events included corneal abrasion, lens injury, endophthalmitis, retinal detachment, inflammation or uveitis, cataract progression, acute vision loss, central retinal artery occlusion, subretinal haemorrhage, retinal pigment epithelium tears, blood pressure elevation, transient ischaemic attack, cerebrovascular accident and death. None of the adverse event rates exceeded 0.21%. Conclusion: Intravitreal bevacizumab is being used globally for ocular diseases. Self-reporting of adverse events after intravitreal bevacizumab injections did not show an increased rate of potential drug-related ocular or systemic events. These short-term results suggest that intravitreal bevacizumab seems to be safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1344-1349
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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