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Ganciclovir
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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Ganciclovir Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(gan SYE kloe veer)

U.S. Brand Names

Cytovene®-IV; Vitrasert®; Zirgan™

Canadian Brand Names

Cytovene®; Vitrasert®

Mexican Brand Names

Cymevene

Pharmacologic Category

Antiviral Agent

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• You can develop anemia, low platelet counts, or low white blood cell counts. Change in dose or even stopping the medicine may be needed if you have any of these side effects.

• This medicine can cause cancer and infertility in animals. Talk with healthcare provider.

• This medicine does not mix well with some medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to ganciclovir or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you have a low platelet count or a low white blood cell count.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Ganciclovir works to injure the virus and fight the infection.

How is it best taken?

• To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

• Use prescription as directed, even if feeling better.

Injection:

• This medicine is given as a shot into a vein over a period of time.

• Drink plenty of noncaffeine-containing liquid unless told to drink less liquid by healthcare provider.

Eye:

• For the eye only.

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Do not wear contact lenses while using this medicine.

• Do not touch the container tip to the eye, lid, or other skin.

• Tilt head back and drop medicine into eye.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Call healthcare provider for instructions.

Eye:

• Use a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not use a double dose or extra doses.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• You will be monitored closely by healthcare provider.

• Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Follow directions for storage of injection. Talk with healthcare provider.

Eye gel:

• Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2006-10-13 12:49:15.0

Modified: 2010-06-22 12:40:54.0

Lexi-PALS TM © (1977)-(2007) Lexi-Comp, Inc. All rights reserved.

 
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