Warnings:

Valganciclovir turns into the drug ganciclovir inside your body. Ganciclovir can decrease bone marrow function. This serious, possibly life-threatening side effect may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, and cause bleeding problems. Your doctor will check the results of your blood tests and adjust your treatment to reduce your risk for these side effects. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of anemia (such as unusual tiredness, fast breathing, pale skin, fast heartbeat), signs of infection (such as fever, chills, cough, persistent sore throat), and signs of bleeding (such as easy bruising/bleeding, nose bleeds, bleeding gums, bloody/black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds).

Ganciclovir may reduce fertility in men and women. It may also harm an unborn baby. Talk to your doctor for more details.

Ganciclovir has caused tumors in laboratory animals. Although there is no information in humans, valganciclovir should be considered cancer-causing (carcinogenic). See also How to Use and Precautions sections.

Uses

Valganciclovir is an anti-viral drug. It is changed in the body to the active form of the drug called ganciclovir. It is used to prevent disease caused by a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) in people who have received organ transplants. CMV disease can lead to serious infections in the body, including an infection in the eye, called CMV retinitis, that can cause blindness. Valganciclovir works by slowing the growth of the CMV virus. It helps prevent the spread of infection to other areas of the body.Valganciclovir is also used to treat CMV retinitis in people with advanced HIV disease (AIDS). This medication helps control CMV retinitis and decrease the risk of blindness.Valganciclovir is not a cure for CMV disease. Some people may have worsening CMV retinitis even with treatment. Therefore, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly by your doctor.

How to use Valganciclovir HCL

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking valganciclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 1 to 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush or break the tablets.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using the special measuring device provided. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

Wash your hands well after handling this drug. Avoid contact with broken/crushed tablets and the liquid form of this medication on your skin, in your mucous membranes and eyes, and avoid breathing in the dust from the tablets. If contact should occur, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. If this medication gets in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with plain water.

The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition (especially kidney function). In children, the dosage is also based on their body size. The doctor should keep track of your child's height and weight to make sure that the dose is right for them.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.

Continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Changing or skipping your dose without approval from your doctor may increase the risk of side effects or make the infection worse.

Do not take ganciclovir instead of valganciclovir on your own without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. The effects and the dosages of ganciclovir and valganciclovir are not equal.

Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (such as worsening vision).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.