Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Valcyte
Generic Name: valganciclovir (Pronunciation: val gan SYE kloe veer)
What is valganciclovir (Valcyte)?
Valganciclovir is an antiviral drug. It works by preventing viral cells from multiplying in your body.
Valganciclovir treats cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the eye in adults with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Valganciclovir also prevents CMV infection in adults and children who have received an organ transplant (heart, kidney, or kidney-pancreas).
Valganciclovir will not cure CMV but it can help control the infection. Valganciclovir is not for treating CMV that a baby is born with.
Valganciclovir may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Your doctor may have switched you from ganciclovir (Cytovene) to valganciclovir (Valcyte). The strength of these two medications is different. A valganciclovir tablet contains more medicine than a ganciclovir capsule. You may not need to use as many valganciclovir tablets as you did ganciclovir capsules. Take only the number of valganciclovir tablets your doctor has prescribed.
Valcyte 450 mg
oblong, pink, imprinted with VGC, 450
What are the possible side effects of valganciclovir (Valcyte)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using valganciclovir and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about valganciclovir (Valcyte)?
Valganciclovir tablets are for adults or children, but valganciclovir liquid is only for children. Adults should not use the oral solution or the dose may not be correct.
Valganciclovir (Valcyte) and ganciclovir (Cytovene) must never be taken together. If your doctor switched you from ganciclovir (Cytovene) to valganciclovir (Valcyte), the number of pills you use each day may change. Take only the number of tablets your doctor has prescribed.
Valganciclovir has caused birth defects in animal studies. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication and for at least 30 days after your treatment ends.
If a man fathers a child while taking valganciclovir, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 90 days after you stop using valganciclovir.
Do not crush or break a valganciclovir tablet. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet or capsule.
Valganciclovir can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your treatment may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Resources for Staying Well
- HIV-AIDS: Myths and Facts
- Understanding The Symptoms of AIDS/HIV
- The Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About HIV and AIDS