Ocular and systemic safety of bevacizumab and ranibizumab in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2013 May;24(3):205-12. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e32835f8ec0.


Purpose of review: This study reviews differences in both ocular and systemic safety between intravitreal bevacizumab and ranibizumab in the setting of neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Recent findings: Serious adverse events associated with either bevacizumab or ranibizumab injections are generally rare. However, acute intraocular inflammation (AII) tends to occur more frequently following bevacizumab injection. Systemic absorption of bevacizumab is greater than with ranibizumab, and many studies have shown an increased risk of systemic adverse events in patients receiving bevacizumab compared with those receiving ranibizumab.

Summary: Although rare, adverse events with off-label use of bevacizumab are more common than with ranibizumab. Continued study into long-term safety of the two agents is warranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Humans
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Off-Label Use
  • Ranibizumab
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / physiopathology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Bevacizumab
  • Ranibizumab