Published online May 12, 2015. doi: 10.5318/wjo.v5.i2.45
Peer-review started: December 1, 2014
First decision: January 20, 2015
Revised: February 10, 2015
Accepted: April 1, 2015
Article in press: April 7, 2015
Published online: May 12, 2015
Core tip: Current evidence suggests the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents aflibercept and ranibizumab are the most effective agents for most patients with diabetic macular edema. Aflibercept may be more effective when vision is very low. Other drugs retain niche roles including bevacizumab owing to lower costs, steroids like triamcinolone which can be effective many years later, dexamethasone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like nepafenac. Also considered are anti-tumour necrosis factor agents like infliximab, anti-interleukins like canakinumab, anti-inflammatories including minocycline, rapamycin (sirolimus) and protein kinase C inhibitors midostaurin and ruboxistaurin. Fluocinolone implants, anti-VEGF agents bevasiranib and pegaptinib, cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors like celecoxib, phospholipase A2 inhibitors and recombinant erythropoietin are discussed.