valganciclovir (generic name)

It is used to treat or prevent infections caused by certain kinds of viruses
(val gan SYE kloh veer)
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What is this medicine?

VALGANCICLOVIR (val gan SYE kloh veer) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat or prevent infections caused by certain kinds of viruses. It is commonly used to treat and prevent 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, valganciclovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

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 with food. Do not chew or crush. Do not touch broken tablets with bare hands. Wash skin with soap and water if broken tablets touch your skin. 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. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 months for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

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?

  • adriamycin
  • amphotericin B
  • certain medicines for HIV like didanosine, zidovudine
  • dapsone
  • flucytosine
  • imipenem; cilastatin
  • pentamidine
  • probenecid
  • 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. If you think you may have become pregnant and are taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away. Males must use barrier contraception during therapy and for 90 days after stopping this medicine.

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
  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • seizures
  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
  • 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):

  • constipation
  • cough or runny nose
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • vomiting

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Last Updated: September 14, 2009
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