Brand name: Cytovene
Class of drugs: Antiviral
Why is ganciclovir prescribed?
- Ganciclovir is prescribed to transplant patients in order to treat or prevent the development of cytomegalovirus (CMV), an eye infection.
- Ganciclovir will not cure this eye infection, but it may help to keep the symptoms from becoming worse.
How is ganciclovir given?
- This medication either comes in the form of a tablet and is swallowed, or is given by injection.
- This drug works best when there is a constant amount of it in the bloodstream. In order to achieve this, it is recommended that you take ganciclovir on a regular schedule, usually several times a day for the tablet form and as determined by your doctor for the injected form.
- Ganciclovir must be taken for the entire duration of treatment in order to achieve the best results.
- The dose of this drug will be different for each patient.
- Be sure to follow exactly your doctor's orders and directions on the prescription label.
- When taking the tablet form of this drug, it is important to take it with food so your body will absorb it completely and that it will work properly.
Are there any special precautions I should follow before taking ganciclovir?
Before taking ganciclovir, inform your doctor:
- Of any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you are currently taking; this includes any herbal medications or supplements that you are taking.
- If you have any allergies.
- If you have a low white blood cell count.
- If you have a low blood platelet count.
What are the common side effects?
The most common side effects from taking ganciclovir include:
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling of the feet or ankles
When should I call my doctor?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Sore throat or fever
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black, tarry stool
- Pain at place of injection
- Unusual tiredness
- Mood or mental changes
What should I do if I forget a dose?
- If a dose is missed, simply take it as soon as possible. However, if it is within two hours of your next dose, simply skip the missed dose and proceed with your regular schedule.
- Do not take a double dose.
What storage conditions are necessary for this drug?
- Ganciclovir should be kept in its original container, tightly sealed and away from children.
- It should be stored in room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom) and out of direct sunlight.
- Throw away any medication that is outdated or unused.
For More Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216.444.8282. We will be happy to answer your questions.