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Ganciclovir (Into the eye)

Ganciclovir (gan-SYE-kloe-vir)

Treats eye infection (swelling of the front part of the eye) caused by herpes simplex virus. This medicine is an antiviral.

Brand Name(s):

Zirgan

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 ganciclovir.

How to Use This Medicine:

Gel/Jelly, Drop

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Lie down or tilt your head back. With your index finger, pull down the lower lid of your eye to form a pocket.
  • To use the eye drops: Hold the dropper close to your eye with the other hand. Drop the correct number of drops into the pocket made between your lower lid and eyeball. Gently close your eyes. Place your index finger over the inner corner of your eye for 1 minute. Do not rinse or wipe the dropper or allow it to touch anything, including your eye. Put the cap on the bottle right away. Keep the bottle upright when you are not using it.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Do not touch the eye dropper tip to any surface. This will help keep the medicine as germ-free as possible.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until your infection is gone.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply 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. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • 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.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medicine. This will prevent more eye irritation.
  • Your eye doctor will want to examine your eye(s) at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and is not causing unwanted effects.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

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
  • Blurred vision.
  • Painful irritation of the clear front part of the eye.
  • Red, sore eyes.
  • Redness of the white part of eyes or inside of eyelids.

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: 9/4/2014


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