This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
APO-ValGANciclovir; Auro-Valganciclovir; TEVA-ValGANciclovir; Valcyte
- Very bad and sometimes life-threatening blood and bone marrow problems like anemia, low platelet counts, or low white blood cell counts have happened with this drug. Change in dose or even stopping the drug may be needed if any of these side effects happen. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug has caused fertility problems in animals and some humans. Fertility problems may lead to not being able get pregnant or father a child. This may go back to normal but sometimes it may not. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- In animals, this drug has caused harm to unborn babies and cancer. This drug may have the same effects in humans. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- 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.
- If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or low red blood cell count.
- If your child has kidney disease.
- If your child is on dialysis.
- Do not give ganciclovir to your child while your child is taking this drug.
- If your child is taking imipenem-cilastatin.
If your child is breast-feeding a baby:
- Be sure your child does not breast-feed a baby while taking this drug.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
For all uses of this drug:
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
- Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Have your child wash hands often. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
- Do not run out of this drug.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If your child is of childbearing age, a pregnancy test will need to be done before starting this drug to make sure she is not pregnant.
If your child is or may be sexually active:
- Have your child use birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 1 month after stopping this drug.
- If your child is a male and has sex with a female who could get pregnant, they must prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 3 months after his last dose. They must use a condom.
- If your child is a male and his sex partner gets pregnant while he takes this drug or within 3 months after his last dose, call the doctor right away.
If your child is pregnant:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy.
- If your child gets pregnant while taking this drug or within 1 month after the last dose, call the doctor right away.
For CMV infections of the eye:
- This drug is not a cure for CMV infections of the eye. Be sure your child stays under the care of the doctor.
- Get your child an eye exam as you have been told by the doctor.
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 child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has 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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
- Low mood (depression).
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Swelling of belly.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- Shortness of breath.
- Night sweats.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Belly pain.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Not able to sleep.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Not hungry.
- Weight loss.
- Back pain.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Muscle spasm.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Give this drug with food.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
- Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.
- Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.
- You will need to take special care when handling this drug. Check with the doctor or pharmacist to see how to handle this drug.
- 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.
- Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
- Your pharmacist will need to mix this drug before you get it.
- Shake well before use.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug.
- Do not mix with any liquid.
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with food.
- If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Store liquid (solution) in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 7 weeks.
- Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child 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 child’s doctor, nurse, 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.
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.
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