Cidofovir injection

Cidofovir is a medication that prevents and treats infections caused by viruses. It doesn’t kill the virus or make it less contagious. A healthcare provider will give you this injection in a hospital or clinic setting. You’ll need to take another medication along with this one called probenecid.

What is this medication?

CIDOFOVIR (si DOF o veer) prevents and treats infections caused by certain kinds of viruses. This medication does not kill the virus, and it may still be possible to spread the virus to others. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by bacteria.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.



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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • Kidney disease
  • Low blood counts (white cells, platelets, or red blood cells)
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to cidofovir, probenecid, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected into a vein. It is given by a care team in a hospital or clinic setting. You will need to take another medication, probenecid, with this medication. Take all of this medication unless your care team tells you to stop it early. Keep taking it even if you think you are better.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • Certain medications for infection like acyclovir, adefovir, amikacin, amphotericin B, bacitracin, clindamycin, foscarnet, ganciclovir, gentamicin, pentamidine, tobramycin, valacyclovir, vancomycin
  • Cisplatin
  • Clofarabine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Diuretics
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation
  • Pamidronate
  • Tacrolimus
  • Voclosporin
  • Zoledronic acid

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Zidovudine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

You may need blood work while you are taking this medication.

Your vision may be tested before and during use of this medication. Tell your care team if you have any change in your eyesight.

Check with your care team if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medication.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medication or for 1 month after stopping it. Women must use birth control while taking this medication. Women will also need to take it for 1 month after stopping the medication. Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your care team for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medication.

Males who get this medication must use a condom during sex with females who can get pregnant. If you get a woman pregnant, there is potential for serious harm to an unborn child. You will need to continue wearing a condom for 3 months after stopping this medication. Tell your care team right away if you think your partner might be pregnant.

This medication may make it more difficult to father a child. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Changes in vision
  • Fast, irregular heartbeat
  • Flu-like symptoms—fever, chills, muscle pain, cough, headache, fatigue
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
  • Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Low red blood cell level—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellowing skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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