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Drug Guide    G   Ganciclovir Sodium

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   Ganciclovir Sodium

Ganciclovir Sodium
IV


This drug is used in patients with immune system problems (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-AIDS) to treat a serious infection inside the eye called CMV (cytomegalovirus) retinitis. It is also used to help prevent CMV problems in patients with certain organ transplants (e.g., kidney, heart).Controlling CMV retinitis can help decrease the risk of blindness from the infection. It can also help to prevent CMV from causing disease elsewhere in the body.Ganciclovir is not a cure for CMV diseases.

 
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 Ganciclovir Sodium images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Ganciclovir Sodium

Uses
This drug is used in patients with immune system problems (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-AIDS) to treat a serious infection inside the eye called CMV (cytomegalovirus) retinitis. It is also used to help prevent CMV problems in patients with certain organ transplants (e.g., kidney, heart).Controlling CMV retinitis can help decrease the risk of blindness from the infection. It can also help to prevent CMV from causing disease elsewhere in the body.Ganciclovir is not a cure for CMV diseases.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, kidney test, eye exams) should be performed often to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

Storage
  • Store unmixed vials at temperatures below 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) away from light.
  • Mixed solution bags should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours of mixing.
  • Avoid freezing.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • This medication is given by injection into a vein or through an implanted vein tube (central venous catheter), usually over 1 hour.
  • For CMV retinitis treatment, this medication is given every 12 hours for the first 14 to 21 days, then once daily until your doctor directs you to stop.
  • If your condition improves, you may be switched to a medication that can be taken by mouth (oral ganciclovir or valganciclovir).To prevent CMV problems in transplant recipients, this medication is given every 12 hours for the first 7 to 14 days, then 5 times weekly to once daily.
  • The length of treatment may be as long as 120 days.Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the liquid.Avoid direct contact of this medicine with the skin/eyes/mouth.
  • If contact occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • For eyes, rinse with a steady stream of tap water for at least 5 minutes.
  • If you are the caregiver, wear rubber gloves to handle the medication and injection equipment.
  • Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely.
  • Special disposal is required for this medication and all injection equipment used with it.
  • Consult your pharmacist for more information.Dosage is based on your weight, kidney function, medical condition, and response to treatment.It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level.
  • Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
  • To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.Do not use more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor.
  • Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if your condition worsens (e.g., your vision worsens).

Side Effects
  • See also Warning section.Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, shaking, swelling legs, constipation, back pain, drowsiness, dizziness, and trouble sleeping may occur.
  • Pain/redness/irritation may occur at the injection site.
  • If you experience pain/redness/milky discharge at the skin entry site of a central venous catheter, contact your doctor immediately.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (slowed thinking, confusion, depression), decreased sexual interest/ability, decrease in the amount of urine, tingling/numbness of hands or feet, hair loss, dry skin, strange taste in the mouth, muscle aches/cramps, mouth ulcers, unusual dreams.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures, persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before using ganciclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to valganciclovir or acyclovir; or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: inability to make urine (anuria), kidney problems that require dialysis, severely low white/red blood cells, severely low platelets.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, low white blood cells, low red blood cells, low platelets, bone marrow problems, HIV, liver problems (e.g., hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), radiation treatment.This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Use caution while driving, using machinery, or doing any activity that requires alertness.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.Kidney function declines as you grow older.
  • This medication is removed by the kidneys.
  • Therefore, caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug.Use in children has been limited.
  • Discuss the risk and benefits with the doctor.This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the risk of harm to an unborn baby.
  • To prevent pregnancy, men with female partners should always use effective barrier protections (e.g., latex or polyurethane condoms) during all sexual activity during treatment and for at least 90 days after stopping the medication.
  • Women who are taking ganciclovir should also use at least 2 forms of effective birth control (e.g., birth control pills and condoms) during treatment and for at least 90 days after stopping the medication.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk.
  • Because of the possible risks to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember unless it is within 2 hours of your next dose.
  • In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: didanosine, drugs that may lower bone marrow function (e.g., trimethoprim, pyrimethamine, doxorubicin, vincristine, vinblastine, adriamycin, dapsone, flucytosine, zidovudine), probenecid, drugs that may lower kidney function (e.g., amphotericin B, cisplatin, cyclosporine), mycophenolate, imipenem/cilastatin.If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting ganciclovir.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement 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.

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