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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Vistide

Generic Name: cidofovir (Pronunciation: si DOF o veer)

What is cidofovir (Vistide)?

Cidofovir is an antiviral medication that works by preventing certain viral cells from multiplying in your body.

Cidofovir is used to treat an eye infection called cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMV) in people who are infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Cidofovir may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of cidofovir (Vistide)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • any change in your vision; or
  • increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weakness, constipation.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about cidofovir (Vistide)?

Do not receive this medication if you are allergic to cidofovir, probenecid (Benemid), or sulfa drugs, or if you have severe kidney disease.

Cidofovir may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using cidofovir and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

Cidofovir can affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 3 months after you stop using cidofovir.

Cidofovir must be used together with an oral (taken by mouth) medicine called probenecid (Benemid). Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications.

There are many other medicines that can interact with cidofovir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Cidofovir has caused certain types of tumors in animals. It is not known if humans would also have an increased risk of tumors. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

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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