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Valganciclovir (val gan SYE kloh veer)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Valcyte

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Valganciclovir; Valcyte

Warning

  • You may have anemia, low platelet counts, or low white blood cell counts. Change in dose or even stopping the drug may be needed if you have any of these side effects.
  • This drug has caused cancer, infertility, and harm to unborn babies in animals. Talk with your doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat a viral infection of the eyes in people with immune system problems.
  • It is used to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease after organ transplant.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to valganciclovir, acyclovir, or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Low white blood cell count or low platelet count.
  • If you are on dialysis, talk with your doctor.
  • Do not take ganciclovir while taking this drug.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.
  • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • Do not run out of this drug.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during care and for 3 months after care ends. Use a condom.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 1 month after stopping this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Tablet:

  • This drug is not a cure for CMV infections of the eye. Stay under the care of your doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
  • Change in balance.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Seizures.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Change in eyesight.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Back pain.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Headache.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly pain.
  • Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take this drug with food.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not get this drug, as well as the liquid, broken tablets, or crushed tablets, on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get it on your skin, wash with soap and water. If you get it in your eyes, rinse with plain water.

Tablet:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

Liquid:

  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablet:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Liquid:

  • Store liquid (solution) in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 7 weeks.
  • Do not freeze.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.