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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP | Apr 18, 2017

Preventing Silicone Oil Contamination of the Eye with Avastin Injections, Part II

Categories: Defective Drugs and Medical Devices

It is very important that Avastin (Bevacizumab) eye injections be received by the patient without foreign particles, such as silicone oil, also getting into the eye. The occurrence of intravitreal silicone can create further vision problems for patients whose eyesight has already been compromised. As discussed in our previous blog, researchers have found that the unintentional introduction of silicone contamination with Avastin eye injections has occurred in many cases because the prefilled syringes that compounding pharmacies use for this purpose are coated in several places with silicone oil. These syringes are not FDA approved for use in eye injections.

At least one animal study has shown that components of silicone oil can cause acute ocular toxicity. While the long term effects of silicone oil in the eye have not been well-studied, it is generally agreed that the prolonged presence of silicone oil in the eye should be avoided.

In addition to the additional vision problems that silicone particle contamination of Avastin injections can present, the silicone oil in the prefilled syringe can migrates into the Avastin and interact with it. Researchers have reported the formation of protein aggregates as a result of this interaction (which is further contamination of the drug), and have expressed concern as to whether this protein aggregation adversely impacts the therapeutic effect of the Avastin injection. Diminished drug efficacy is therefore one more adverse effect of silicone oil contamination of eye injections.

The occurrence of silicone oil contamination of the eye could be avoided by using new generation prefilled syringes that do not have free silicone oil coatings. Newer technologies have been available for some time now, and they include using baked-on silicone, or the avoidance of silicone altogether such as with alternative materials that have a low coefficient of friction. Unfortunately, many of the compounding pharmacies that prepare Avastin prefilled syringes persisted for several years in using silicone oil coated syringes that were not intended for eye injections and which were known to carry a significant risk of introducing silicone oil contaminants into the eye.

As a result of their negligence, many patients who received an Avastin eye injection have already experienced complications, problems with vision, and silicone floaters in the eye. If this has happened to you or your loved one, do not hesitate to reach out to our award-winning personal injury lawyers at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP. Our firm is actively investigating cases involving Avastin eye injection injuries, and we are prepared to review your case personally and discuss whether you may have a valid claim for compensation.

To speak with a lawyer, call (216) 600-0114 and request a consultation.