What is this medicine?
GANCICLOVIR (gan SYE kloe veer) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat or prevent infections caused by certain kinds of viruses. It is commonly used to prevent and treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections of the eye and body.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- kidney disease
- low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
- an unusual or allergic reaction to ganciclovir, acyclovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take it with food. Do not open or crush the capsules. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
- amphotericin B
- certain medicines for HIV like didanosine, zidovudine
- imipenem; cilastatin
- sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine. If you have a CMV eye infection have your eyes checked every 4 to 6 weeks.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluids daily while taking this medicine to help prevent side effects.
This medicine may cause birth defects to the unborn child if taken during pregnancy. Use contraception while taking this medicine. Males must use barrier contraception during therapy and for 90 days after stopping this medicine. If you think you may have become pregnant and are taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- changes in vision
- dizziness, lightheaded
- fever or chills, sore throat
- mouth sores
- pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 to 30 degrees C (59 to 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children,
never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.