Where is Valganciclovir used?

Valganciclovir is an antiviral drug used for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection that affects the eyes in people with AIDS. The condition is also known as CMV retinitis. This medicine is also used to prevent cytomegalovirus infection in people who had an organ transplant from a CMV positive donor.

How does Valganciclovir work?

Valganciclovir works by blocking the action of an enzyme called DNA polymerase that is found in the CMV virus. This enzyme is required by the virus for it to copy genetic material. The virus must multiply and survive. This medicine is also incorporated into the DNA of the virus. By blocking the action of DNA polymerase and disrupting viral DNA, Valganciclovir prevents CMV from multiplying. This controls the infection and helps the immune system to deal with it. 

How is Valganciclovir taken?

Take this medication with food usually1-2 times a day. Each dose should be taken by mouth as a whole with a full glass of water. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.

In children, the dosage is also based on their body size. The doctor should keep track of your child’s height and weight. It is to make sure that the dose is right for them. This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. You should take this at the same time and in the same way each day. Continue taking Valganciclovir exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed by your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Valganciclovir?

  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

What are the precautions in using Valganciclovir?

  • Valganciclovir has the potential to cause cancers and to reduce fertility in men and women. It will only be used when the benefits of using it outweigh any possible risks. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • This medicine may decrease your capability to operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Valganciclovir can cause birth defects if it is taken during pregnancy or if men taking it father a child. Women taking this medicine must use effective contraception to avoid getting pregnant during treatment. Men taking this medicine should use barrier contraceptives to prevent fathering a child both during and for at least three months following treatment. 
  • This medicine can sometimes cause a decrease in the normal amounts of blood cells in the blood. You will need to have regular blood tests to check your blood cells during your treatment.
  • Valganciclovir is used in a lower dose or with extra monitoring in people with kidney or liver problems, low levels of white blood cells, history of blood disorders, or those who are receiving radiotherapy treatment
  • This is not recommended for use in people who are allergic to this drug and those with hemodialysis for kidney failure.