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Ganciclovir oral
GANCICLOVIR - ORAL CAPSULE

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

GANCICLOVIR - ORAL CAPSULE

(gan-SYE-klo-veer)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cytovene

WARNING: Ganciclovir capsules are used only to prevent CMV infection in HIV patients or organ transplant patients; or for people who have CMV eye infection and weak immune systems. Using oral ganciclovir instead of the injectable form may increase the risk of developing a more severe infection. Use oral ganciclovir only when the injectable form cannot be used. This medication can cause severe blood disorders (e.g., anemia, granulocytopenia, decreased platelets). Notify your doctor immediately if you develop unusual fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding, or signs of an infection such as persistent fever or sore throat.

Uses

This is an antiviral medication used to treat or prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections of the eye or for organ transplants.

How To Use

This medication is taken by mouth. The capsules should be swallowed whole and taken with food. Do not open or crush the capsules. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not stop using this medication or increase your dose without consulting your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. At least 6 to 8 glasses of water or other liquids are recommended daily. Keep all doctor appointments and lab visits. This medication can affect your blood. Lab tests will be scheduled routinely to closely monitor the effect of this medication on your blood.

Side Effects

Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, confusion, nervousness, abnormal dreams, tremor, tingling sensation in fingers, weakness, or swelling of feet or ankles. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor immediately if any of these serious effects occur: skin rash, sore throat, fever, chills, trouble breathing, severe abdominal pain, any unusual bleeding. If you notice any other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: blood disorders, liver disease, kidney disease, any allergies. Avoid contacting the skin or mucous membranes with the contents of the capsule. Should contact occur, wash with plenty of soap and water; thoroughly rinse eyes with plain water. Caution is advised if this drug is used in the elderly, as they may have decreased kidney function which can cause ganciclovir to build up in their bloodstream. Increased side effects may result. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this drug. It is recommended that men and women use birth control measures while taking this medication since birth defects have been noted in animal studies. Men should use a barrier contraceptive (latex condom) while taking this medication and for at least 90 days after they stop taking it. Because it is not known if this medication appears in breast milk, consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Inform your doctor about all the medicines you use (both prescription and nonprescription) including: didanosine, imipenem-cilastatin, dapsone, pentamidine, cancer chemotherapy drugs, amphotericin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. This medication should be used under strict supervision by persons taking zidovudine (AZT) since the combination can result in severe blood disorders. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose could be expected to be extensions of symptoms noted in Side Effects section.

Notes

This medication is not a cure for CMV infections, so symptoms may continue. Regular eye examinations are recommended to evaluate the effectiveness of this therapy. Use of this medication in children has been limited. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Elderly persons should use this medication cautiously and have periodic kidney tests to see if dosage adjustments are necessary.

Missed Dose

Do not double dose if missed; check with your MD.

Storage

Store at room temperature 59 to 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom.