Ganciclovir

Generic Name (active ingredient): Ganciclovir
Brand Name: Cymevene, Cytovene

Ganciclovir is anti-viral medication that works by suppressing the replication of cytomegalovirus, Herpes Zoster type 1 and 2, herpes virus type 6, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B virus, chicken pox. Antiviral action is associated with suppressing the synthesis of viral DNA. The medication is used for prophylaxis and treatment of infections caused by mentioned above viruses.

How does the medication work?
Ganciclovir is antiviral agent. It is a synthetic analogue of guanine. Chemical structure is similar to acyclovir. After administration ganciclovir is metabolized in the form of monophosphate under the action of deoxyguanosine kinase and then into its active form of ganciclovir triphosphate. Ganciclovir triphosphate embeds into viral DNA and inhibits DNA synthesis. Ganciclovir is anti-viral medication that works by suppressing the replication of cytomegalovirus, Herpes Zoster type 1 and 2, herpes virus type 6, Epstein-Barr viruss, hepatitis B virus, chicken pox.

When Ganciclovir is prescribed?

  • Prophylaxis and treatment of life and vision threatening infection caused by cytomegalovirus in patients with immune deficiency
  • Prophylaxis and treatment of cytomegalovirus in patients after organ transplontation

What should I know before taking Ganciclovir?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Ganciclovir or to any other medicines such as:

  • Acyclovir, Valcyclovir, Famciclovir and other nucleoside analogues

Do not take Ganciclovir if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Hypersensitivity to any of the medication ingredients
  • Changes of blood picture (the amount of neutrophills less then 500 cell/microliter, thrombocytes less than 25000 cell/microliter or level of hemoglobin less than 8g/deciliter
  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Severe liver diseases
  • Kidney diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

Before taking Ganciclovir, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Liver diseases in anamnesis
  • Kidney diseases in anamnesis

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you should take Ganciclovir only under a strict control of your doctor. Ganciclovir belongs to a pregnancy category C meaning that is not safe to use the medication during pregnancy.

How to take Ganciclovir:
Ganciclovir is available in the forms of intravenous infusions. Infusions should be made only by a specialized medical staff. Dosage of Ganciclovir is prescribed individually by physician.

Take the entire amount of Ganciclovir prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Ganciclovir?
The most common Ganciclovir side effects include:

  • General: fever, infections, chills, sepsis
  • Digestive system: diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting
  • Hemic and lymphatic system: leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia
  • Nervous system: thrombocytopenia
  • Other: sweating and pruritis

The following events were frequently observed in clinical trials but occurred with equal or greater frequency in placebo-treated subjects: abdominal pain, nausea, flatulence, pneumonia, paresthesia, rash.

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.

Which are Ganciclovir overdose symptoms?
If you overdose Ganciclovir, seek immediate medical attention. Overdose symptoms include: pancytopenia, acute renal failure, persistent bone marrow suppression, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, renal toxicity, seizures

Which other medicines may affect Ganciclovir?
Ganciclovir may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • Antibiotics (imipenem/cilastatin)
  • HIV drugs (didanosine, zidovudine)
  • Immunesupressants (mycophenolate)
  • Uricosuric drugs (probenicid)
  • Nephrotoxic drugs

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Ganciclovir, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Ganciclovir?
You should store the medication at dry and protected from light place out of reach of children at temperature not exceeding 300C (86F).

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