I think people with certain preexisting disorders are of particular concern, Rob. This is from Schering-Plough’s package insert, along with a link to the page:
“…Decrease or loss of vision, retinopathy including macular edema, retinal artery or vein thrombosis, retinal hemorrhages and cotton wool spots, optic neuritis, and papilledema may be induced or aggravated by treatment with peg-intron alpha 2b or other alpha interferons. All patients should receive an eye examination at baseline. Patients with preexisting disorders (e.g. diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy) should receive periodic ophthalmologic exams during interferon alpha treatment. Any patient who develops ocular symptoms should receive a prompt and complete eye examination. Pegintron alpha 2b should be discontinued in patients who develop new or worsening ophthalmologic disorders…”
Dunno; this was enough to keep me going to the ophthalmologist’s on a biannual basis for the several years I was treating; I have type 2 diabetes too, though.
I’ve heard of anecdotal reports of problems, but of course, our average age in here is… um… well, we’re getting to be old fogies; so we’re more prone to eye problems as a group regardless of interferon.
Glad to hear you’re going into this fully prepared this time around, Robo--
As always, you are wealth of information. Am pretty much done with pretreatment checklist. Eventually gonna have to suck it up and just do it...soon
As far as age goes, I'm not getting older, I'm getting better and wiser. Looks like you are was well. No aging without a "229" this year.
I am exciting my trial doctor with my TX-related eye issues (unfortunately). Around 24 weeks of TX, an hourt after an IFN shot, I had a posterior vitreous detachment. There are 3 kinds: 1) normal - gradual, symptomless, no problems, the vitreous gel separates from the retina, remaining attached at cornea and optic nerve 2) PVD related to myopia - may involve retinal tears and 3) PVD with symptoms, i.e. flashing lights and lots of floaters - lights are from vitreous tugging hard on the retina as it pulls away. Must be watched for tears unitl the separation is complete (vitreous attached only to cornea and optic nerve). I had the last one with lights. Retinal specialist said separation was complete, come back in 6 mos to recheck and watch for vision loss, indicating a tear that must be repaired immediately. Went back, had both eyes carefully examined, PVD okay, other eye fine. 4 days after visit (8 mos. post-TX), other eye started to separate (lights again). Back to specialist, 50% separated, have to go back every 4 weeks until separation complete to be sure no retinal tear develops. I'm irritated because I went from perfect attachment to 50% immediately. Hep C doc fascinated because it's not the normal detachment that everyone gradually gets if they live past 50.
It's not a disaster, since a retinal tear can be repaired and there are obvious signs of a tear (no vision) to send you back to doc for repair, just aggravated that stuff like this is still a curiosity and does not appear as a potential side effect on an IFN label.