Nonexudative (Dry) Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Medication

Updated: Dec 21, 2022
  • Author: Raj K Maturi, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Medication Summary

No approved pharmacologic drug treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is available. See Surgical Care for the possible beneficial effects of laser therapy.

Antioxidant multivitamin therapy (consisting of vitamin A at 25,000 IU, vitamin C at 500 mg, zinc at 80 mg, copper at 2 mg, and vitamin E at 400 mg) has been shown in a large clinical trial, the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS), to be helpful in decreasing the risk of visual loss with nonexudative AMD. The AREDS2 study showed that a formulation that replaced vitamin A/beta-carotene with a combination of lutein and zeaxanthin was safer and likely more effective at preventing AMD progression than the initial AREDS formula. However, both AREDS and AREDS2 notably did not show any benefit with the use of these vitamins in very early AMD or in subjects without AMD at baseline.

Although no pharmacologic treatments have been approved to treat dry AMD, many compounds are in the latter stages of clinical trials, most notably, lampalizumab, a complement inhibitor that is administered by intraocular injection.