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foscarnet IV

Important Note

Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose
foscarnet IV Warnings

This medication is used only for cytomegalovirus (CMV) eye infections and acyclovir-resistant herpes infections.

Decreased kidney function is a serious side effect caused by this medication. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience a change in the amount of urine. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose.

This medication has caused seizures in some people due to changes in blood chemistry (minerals and electrolytes). Your doctor may prescribe additional minerals and/or electrolytes to prevent seizures.

It is important that you receive appropriate amounts of fluid (hydration) while using this medication.

Your doctor will monitor your blood and kidneys while you are using this medication.

foscarnet IV Uses

This medication is used to control cytomegalovirus (CMV) eye infections (CMV retinitis) in persons with AIDS. This medication is an antiviral that works by stopping the growth of viruses. Controlling CMV retinitis can help decrease the risk of blindness from the infection. Foscarnet is sometimes combined with another antiviral drug, ganciclovir, when the CMV infection does not respond to either drug used alone for treatment.

This medication is also used to treat herpes infections (HSV) that do not respond to treatment with acyclovir (acyclovir-resistant).

This medication is not a cure for CMV or HSV diseases.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used to help prevent CMV disease in patients receiving cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy).

How to use foscarnet IV

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instruction from your health care professional. If you have any questions about using this medication properly, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. It is usually infused slowly over 1 to 2 hours using an infusion pump. Infusing this medication too quickly can result in serious side effects. Do not mix with any other medications. When starting this medication, you will receive 2 to 3 doses per day for the first 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. This starting period is called "induction." Once induction is completed, you will then be given this medication usually once a day for the remainder of treatment. Dosage is based on your weight, kidney function, medical condition, and response to treatment.

To prevent kidney damage, it is important to drink plenty of fluids while using this medication. Fluids may be given by vein to make sure you get enough.

Antivirals work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals.

It is very important to continue using this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Stopping treatment too soon may result in ineffective treatment.

Do not use more of this drug or infuse it more often or faster than prescribed by your doctor. Your condition will not improve faster, and you may experience side effects.

If skin contact occurs, flush with plenty of water. If irritation occurs, contact your doctor immediately.

Learn how to store and discard needles, medical supplies, and any unused medication safely. Consult your pharmacist. Never reuse needles or syringes.

foscarnet IV Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Because this medication is used in patients who use other medications, it is difficult to tell which side effects are caused by foscarnet. Nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and increased sweating have been reported. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, anxiety), new vision problems, muscle cramps/spasms, weakness, fast breathing, irregular heartbeat, change in the amount of urine, painful urination, vaginal sores, seizures, fever, persistent sore throat.

You may experience redness, irritation, or pain at the injection site. Tell your doctor if this occurs. Also tell your doctor if you experience tingling or numbness of the hands or feet, or tingling around your mouth during or after the infusion. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

foscarnet IV Precautions

Before using foscarnet, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, dehydration, low electrolyte levels (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate), nervous system problems (e.g., seizure history), heart disease.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effects on developing bones.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effects on the kidneys.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible harm to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended.

foscarnet IV Interactions

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs that may harm the kidneys (e.g., amphotericin B, cidofovir, aminoglycosides such as amikacin/gentamicin/tobramycin), pentamidine, "water pills" (diuretics), zidovudine.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

foscarnet IV Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: seizures, tingling around the mouth, numbness/tingling in arms/legs.

NOTES:

Do not share this medication with others.

This medication is usually first given in the hospital where your condition can be monitored closely. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, electrolytes levels, regular eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

MISSED DOSE:

It is important to use this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately to set up a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE:

Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and heat. Keep below 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

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