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Valganciclovir (By mouth)

Valganciclovir (val-gan-SYE-kloe-vir)

Treats cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis (eye infection) in patients who have AIDS. Also prevents CMV disease in patients who have received an organ transplant (e.g., heart, kidney, or kidney-pancreas transplant).

Brand Name(s):

Valcyte

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to valganciclovir, acyclovir (Zovirax®), famciclovir (Famvir®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®), or valacyclovir (Valtrex®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder for Solution, Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • If you took Cytovene® (ganciclovir) before switching to Valcyte®, the dose of your medicine may change. Although these medicines both treat the same problem, they are absorbed differently by your body. Make sure you understand the new directions for Valcyte® so you do not take too many tablets.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Be careful not to handle crushed or broken tablets. If you have contact with broken or crushed tablets, wash your skin with soap and clear water. If the medicine gets into your eyes, rinse them with clear water.
  • When your supply of this medicine is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the mixed oral liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Throw away any unused medicine after 49 days through community take-back programs when available.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using didanosine (ddI, Videx®), mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept®), probenecid (Benemid®), zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir®), or medicines that weaken the immune system (such as steroids, cancer medicines, or radiation treatment).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking this medicine and for at least 1 month after stopping it. Also, men should use a condom during treatment with this medicine and for at least 90 days after treatment has been completed.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, blood or bone marrow problems, or brain or nerve problems.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests and eye examinations may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
  • This medicine may make you confused, dizzy, or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Eye pain or trouble seeing.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Problems with coordination or muscle control.
  • Unexplained fever, chills, sore throat, or painful sores.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Headache.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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