What is this medication?
Valganciclovir is used in adults to prevent infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) that may occur after an organ transplant (heart, kidney, or pancreas). Valganciclovir is also used to treat CMV infection of the eye in adults with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Valganciclovir is used in children who are 4 months old to 16 years old to prevent CMV infection after a kidney transplant. Valganciclovir is also used in children who are 1 month old to 16 years old to prevent CMV disease after a heart transplant.
Valganciclovir will not cure CMV but it can help control the infection.
Valganciclovir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I use this medication?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take Valganciclovir with food.
Valganciclovir tablets are for adults or children, but Valganciclovir liquid is only for children.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid). Measure a dose with the supplied measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Do not crush or break a Valganciclovir tablet. 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.
While using Valganciclovir, you may need frequent blood tests.
You should have your eyes checked at least every 4 to 6 weeks while you are using Valganciclovir for CMV. Your doctor may want you to have eye exams more often.
Use Valganciclovir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
What if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
How should I store this medication?
- Store Valganciclovir tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
- Store Valganciclovir liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused after 49 days.
What should I avoid while taking Valganciclovir?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Valganciclovir will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Using this medicine will not prevent your disease from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Ask your doctor how to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:
- difficulty breathing;
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Serious infections may occur during treatment with Valganciclovir. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:
- fever, chills, tiredness, flu-like symptoms;
- feeling light-headed or short of breath;
- mouth sores, skin sores;
- pale skin, cold hands and feet; or
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum).
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- a seizure (convulsions);
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- pain or swelling near your transplanted organ; or
- kidney problems--little or no urination; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath.
- Kidney problems may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects of Valganciclovir may include:
- fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed or short of breath;
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
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 other drugs will affect Valganciclovir?
Valganciclovir can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, high blood pressure, or pain or arthritis (including Advil, Motrin, and Aleve).
Other drugs may affect Valganciclovir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.