Valcyte is an oral tablet made up of a purine nucleoside antiviral drug called valganciclovir hydrochloride, which turns into a drug called ganciclovir once activated inside the body. We carry this medication in both the brand choice and generic alternative in 450mg!
Valcyte is prescribed to prevent a disease called cytomegalovirus (CMV) in people who have received an organ transplant. This type of disease is caused by a virus and commonly results in fatigue, swollen glands, and a fever, and can lead to more serious complications such as CMV retinitis (a serious infection of the eye) which can cause blindness. Valcyte is also used to treat this CMV retinitis in people with HIV, since they also have weakened immune systems and are not able to fight the virus off like a healthy person can. Additionally, to prevent CMV infection, Valcyte can be used following a kidney transplant in pediatric patients at least 6 months old and heart transplants in pediatric patients at least 1 month old.
Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride) is effective at preventing cytomegalovirus and treating CMV retinitis because of its ability to stop the growth of the viral cells and the spreading of it to other parts of the body.
Always follow directions given to you by your doctor. Most prescription labels have the directions written on them for your convenience.
This medication should be taken with food. You should be drinking tons of fluid, preferably water, during the time of treatment with Valcyte. Do not break the Valcyte tablet; swallow the tablet whole. If you accidently break a tablet, the medication can be dangerous if it comes into contact with sensitive areas such as the eyes and skin; wash with soap and water or rinse the eyes with water if this occurs. Ensure you have regular blood tests done while being treated with Valcyte. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
Do not use Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride)
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to valganciclovir hydrochloride or if you take ganciclovir (Cytovene).
Do not use Valcyte if you are pregnant. This drug can harm an unborn baby if taken by a pregnant mother or if used by the father.
Do not give this medication to a child without the recommendation of a doctor.
Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required
To ensure this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney disease, a blood cell disorder, or treatment with radiation or drugs that weaken your immune system such as cancer medicine or steroids.
It is important you follow your doctor’s directions carefully, especially if you have switched from Cytovene (ganciclovir) to Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride). The Valcyte tablet contains more medicine than the Cytovene capsule therefore you will not need to take as many Valcyte tablets as you did with Cytovene. Take only the amount that was prescribed to you.
This drug may affect fertility (the ability to have children) in both men and women.
You may need to have a pregnancy test done before starting treatment; pregnancy tests must be negative to be able to start treatment.
Wear effective birth control throughout the duration of treatment. Men should use condoms. Woman; continue using birth control for at least 30 days after your last dose. Men; continue using condoms for at least 90 days after your last dose.
Common side effects of Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride) may include:
fever or other signs of infection; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; headache; tremors, loss of balance or coordination; sleep problems (insomnia); or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride) may include:
a seizure (convulsions); pain or burning when you urinate; or pain or swelling near your transplanted organ.
If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.
Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…
kidney problems: little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
serious infection: 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.
What other medications may interact with Valcyte?
Other medications that interact with Valcyte include antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines, including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve.
This is not a complete list of medications that interact with Valcyte. For a full list; consult a health care professional.
What is the average dose for an adult with CMV retinitis?
The average dose for an adult with CMV retinitis is 900mg (two 450mg tablets) taken twice per day for 21 days (3 weeks). After 3 weeks, take the same dose once per day.
What should I avoid while being treating with Valcyte?
While being treated with Valcyte, you should avoid being around those who are sick or have infections as well as activities that risk bleeding or injury.
What if I miss a dose?
If you a miss a dose take it as soon as you can after remembering; if your next dose is soon, skip the missed dose. Do not double up on medication during your next dose to make up for a missed dose.
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