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Cytovene Oral (Generic Ganciclovir)

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Ganciclovir may decrease the total amount of blood cells, posing a major and even fatal risk. Inform your doctor of any blood or bleeding issues you are currently experiencing or have ever had, such as anaemia (red blood cells do not carry enough oxygen to all parts of the body), neutropenia (less than normal number of white blood cells), thrombocytopenia (less than normal number of platelets), or any other conditions. If you’ve ever experienced blood issues as a side effect of taking any drug, let your doctor know. Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or have ever taken any of the following drugs: heparin; dapsone; flucytosine (Ancobon); cancer chemotherapy drugs; anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such warfarin (Coumadin); interferons (Infergen, Intron A, PEGASYS, PEG-Intron, Roferon-A); medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), such as didanosine (Videx); immunosuppressants such as azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), steroids like dexamethasone (Decadron), prednisone (Deltasone), or others; zalcitabine (HIVD) or zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and swelling such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and others; pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam); if you are now taking or have recently taken the medication trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole, Bactrim, Septra); or if you have had radiation therapy. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: Infection-related symptoms include a sore throat, fever, chills, cough, pale complexion, headache, disorientation, confusion, fast heartbeat, difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to ganciclovir, your doctor may request a few tests.

Ganciclovir-treated laboratory animals experienced birth abnormalities. If ganciclovir leads to human birth abnormalities is unknown. Use reliable birth control while taking ganciclovir if you can get pregnant. While taking this drug and for 90 days following treatment, males who are sexually active with partners who are capable of becoming pregnant should use a condom. If you have concerns regarding birth control, consult your doctor. If you are or want to become pregnant, avoid using ganciclovir. Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking ganciclovir.

Ganciclovir was administered to laboratory animals, which resulted in reduced sperm counts (fewer male reproductive cells) and fertility issues. It is unknown if ganciclovir affects a woman’s ability to conceive or whether it lowers sperm counts in men.

Ganciclovir-treated laboratory mice grew cancer. It is unknown if ganciclovir makes people more susceptible to developing cancer.

Because ganciclovir may have serious side effects and there is presently insufficient data to support its safety and efficacy in other patient categories, the company advises that it should only be used to treat people with certain conditions. (See Why is this medication administered in the section below.)

The dangers of taking ganciclovir should be discussed with your doctor.

Why is this medication prescribed?

For those whose immune systems are compromised, gangliclovir capsules are used to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis, an eye infection that can result in blindness. After intravenous (injected into a vein) ganciclovir has successfully controlled the condition, CMV retinitis is treated with ganciclovir capsules. People with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or those who have had organ transplants and are at risk for CMV disease can also use gangliclovir to prevent CMV disease. Ganciclovir belongs to the group of drugs known as antivirals. It functions by limiting the growth of CMV or preventing the spread of CMV.

How should this medicine be used?

Ganciclovir is available as a pill to swallow. Typically, it is taken three to six times per day with food. Ganciclovir should be taken at roughly the same times each day to help you remember to take it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the ganciclovir directions exactly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Do not chew, split, open, or crush the capsules; instead, swallow them whole.

Handle ganciclovir capsules with care. Avoid getting ganciclovir capsules that are broken or crushed in touch with your skin, eyes, mouth, or nose. If this happens, wash your skin thoroughly with soap and water or thoroughly rinse your eyes with water.

Before starting to take ganciclovir capsules, you will typically receive intravenous (into a vein) ganciclovir for a number of weeks. You might receive a second round of intravenous ganciclovir if your condition worsens while you’re receiving treatment. If you encounter negative effects while using ganciclovir pills, your doctor might lower your dosage.

CMV is not cured by gangliclovir, although it does control it. Before you experience ganciclovir’s full benefits, it can take some time. Even if you feel well, keep taking ganciclovir. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking ganciclovir. If you stop taking ganciclovir too soon, your blood level of CMV may rise or the virus may develop a resistance to the treatment.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details; according to the manufacturer, this medicine shouldn’t be provided for any other use.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking ganciclovir,

  • If you have an allergy to ganciclovir, acyclovir (Zovirax), valganciclovir (Valcyte), or any other medications, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once.
    If you are on valganciclovir, do not take ganciclovir (Valcyte).
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal items, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Mention the drugs in the IMPORTANT WARNING section as well as any of the following: Amphotericin B (Fungizone); captopril (Capoten, in Capozide); diuretics (‘water pills’); aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), neomycin (New-Rx, New-Fradin), netilmicin (Netromycin), streptomycin, and tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi), among others; ipenem-cilastatin (Primaxin), immune globulin (gamma globulin, BayGam, Carimmune, Gammagard, among others); methicillin (Staphcillin); muromonab-CD3 (OKT3); mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept); foscarnet (Foscavir); gold compounds such as auranofin (Ridaura) or aurothioglucose (Solganal); primaquine, probenecid, rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), or other nucleoside analogues such acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and ribavirin. Nitrates like isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate), or nitroglycerin preparations (Copegus, Rebetol, Virazole, in Rebetron). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the following disorders or any of the ailments listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section: seizures, renal or liver disease, mental illness, non-CMV retinitis eye issues, and mental illness.
  • Inform your doctor if you are nursing a baby. Ganciclovir should not be taken while nursing a baby. Consult your doctor to find out when you can safely stop taking ganciclovir and start breastfeeding.
  • Be sure to inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking ganciclovir if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that ganciclovir may cause seizures, make you drowsy, dizzy, unsteady, disoriented, or less alert. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

While using ganciclovir, make sure you are getting enough fluids.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ganciclovir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Belching
  • Reduced appetite
  • Alterations in food taster abilities
  • Mouth ache
  • Oral sores
  • Strange dreams
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Joint ache or muscle cramping

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Although the following signs and symptoms are rare, if you notice any of them or those in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, consult your doctor right away:

  • Having visions of particles, bursts of light, or a thick veil covering everything
  • Reduced urination
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Edoema of the lower legs, ankles, foot, hands, or arms
  • Tingling, numbness, burning, or pain in the hands or feet
  • Shaking hands that you cannot control
  • Difficulties swallowing or breathing
  • Experiencing discomfort in the chest
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures

Other negative effects of ganciclovir are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Eextreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Light skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Inability to sleep
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Infection-related symptoms including a sore throat, a fever, chills, or a cough
  • Less urinations
  • Edoema of the lower legs, lower arms, feet, ankles, or hands
  • Seizures
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Flu-like signs
  • Stomach ache in the top right corner

What other information should I know?

While you are on this medicine, your doctor might recommend routine eye exams. Keep all scheduled ophthalmology appointments (eye exams).

Inform the lab staff and your doctor that you are taking ganciclovir prior to any laboratory test.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist. Do not let your ganciclovir supply run out.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Cytovene® Oral
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