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DHPG Sodium (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. If you take or have taken any of the following drugs, let your doctor and chemist know: ‘Blood thinners’ or anticoagulants such warfarin (Coumadin), dapsone, flucytosine (Ancobon), and heparin; cancer chemotherapeutic drugs; interferons (Infergen, Intron A, PEGASYS, PEG-Intron, Roferon-A); immunosuppressants like azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), sirolimus (Rapamune), and tacrolimus (Prograf);nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and swelling, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and others; medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), such as didanosine (Videx), zalcitabine (HIVD), or zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT); pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam); pyrimethamine (Daraprim, in Fansidar); steroids like dexamethasone (Decadron), prednisone (Deltasone), or others; trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole, Bactrim, Septra); or if you’ve had or are now getting 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. (Read 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?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis, an eye infection that can result in blindness, is treated with gangliclovir capsules in patients whose immune systems are compromised. When intravenous (injected into a vein) ganciclovir has failed to control the condition, ganciclovir tablets are used to treat CMV retinitis. When a person has acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or has had an organ transplant and is at risk of developing CMV disease, ganciclovir is also used to prevent CMV disease. Ganciclovir is a member of the antiviral drug class. It functions by halting the progression of CMV or by decreasing its growth.

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 chemist 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 often get ganciclovir intravenously (into a vein) for several weeks. A second round of intravenous ganciclovir may be administered if your condition worsens while you’re receiving treatment. In the event that you encounter negative effects, your doctor might lower your ganciclovir dosage.

While not a cure, gangliclovir manages CMV. Before you experience the full benefits of ganciclovir, it can take some time. Despite feeling fine, keep taking ganciclovir. Never stop taking ganciclovir without consulting your doctor first. The level of CMV in your blood may grow or the virus may develop resistance to ganciclovir if you stop taking it too soon.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or chemist 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 chemist know right once.
  • If you are on valganciclovir, do not take ganciclovir (Valcyte).
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal items, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Mention the drugs in the IMPORTANT CAUTION section as well as any of the following: Amphotericin B (Fungizone), aminoglycoside antibiotics like amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), neomycin (New-Rx, New-Fradin), netilmicin (Netromycin), streptomycin, and tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi), among others; ipenem-cilastatin (Primaxin), captopril (Capoten, in Capozide), diuretics (‘water pills’), foscarnet (Foscavir), auranofin (Ridaura) or aurothioglucose (Solganal) gold compounds, immune globulin (gamma globulin, BayGam, Carimmune, Gammagard, among others), methicillin (Staphcillin); isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate), nitroglycerin products, penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), primaquine, probenecid, rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), nitrates such isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate); or additional nucleoside analogues such ribavirin, acyclovir (Zovirax), and famciclovir (Famvir) (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 CAUTION 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. See 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 may be severe. Despite the fact that the following signs and symptoms are unusual, if you see any of them or any of the ones in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor right away:

  • Seeing particles, flashes of light, or a thick curtain of darkness covering everything
  • Less urinations
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Edoema of the lower legs, lower arms, feet, ankles, or hands
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Shaking hands in an uncontrollable manner
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Chest ache
  • Mood shifts
  • Seizures

Further 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. Keep 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 chemist or the garbage/recycling agency in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

Although 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. Moreover, 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.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Extreme 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?

When 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 prescription refills should be directed to your chemist. 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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