Cidofovir

Generic Name: cidofovir (si-DOF-o-veer)
Brand Name: Vistide

Severe and sometimes fatal kidney problems may occur while you are using cidofovir. Your doctor will give you other medicines (eg, intravenous [IV] fluids and probenecid) and will monitor your kidney function before each dose to help decrease the risk of kidney problems. Do not use cidofovir if you are using any other medicines that may damage your kidneys. If you are unsure if your other medicines may damage your kidneys, check with your doctor or pharmacist. If you experience decreased urination, swelling or bloating, sudden weight gain, or shortness of breath, contact your doctor immediately.

Cidofovir may cause a decrease in your white blood cells (neutropenia). Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts during therapy with cidofovir.

Cidofovir has been shown to cause cancer and decreased sperm production in animal studies and may cause cancer and decreased fertility in humans. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.

Cidofovir should only be used to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the eye in patients who have AIDS.


Cidofovir is used for:

Treating CMV infection of the eye in patients with AIDS.

Cidofovir is an antiviral agent. It works by stopping the reproduction of the virus.

Do NOT use cidofovir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cidofovir
  • you are allergic to probenecid or to sulfonamide medicines (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
  • you have severe kidney problems or protein in the urine
  • you have taken a medicine that may harm your kidneys (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, foscarnet, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen], pentamidine, tacrolimus, vancomycin) within the last 7 days. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm your kidneys.

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using cidofovir:

Some medical conditions may interact with cidofovir. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, diabetes, or blood problems
  • if you are on dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cidofovir. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Medicines that may harm your kidneys (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, foscarnet, NSAIDs [eg, ibuprofen], pentamidine, tacrolimus, vancomycin) because the risk of kidney problems may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may harm your kidneys.
  • Zidovudine because the risk of toxic effects, such as severe or life-threatening blood problems, may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cidofovir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use cidofovir:

Use cidofovir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Do not inject cidofovir into the eye.
  • Cidofovir is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using cidofovir at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If cidofovir contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • Continue using cidofovir for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days.
  • It is important to take the full course of probenecid prescribed by your doctor in order to help decrease the risk of kidney problems.
  • If you miss a dose of cidofovir, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use cidofovir.

Important safety information:

  • Cidofovir may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to cidofovir. Using cidofovir alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Cidofovir is not a cure for CMV infection. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose or use cidofovir for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Cidofovir may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Diabetes patients - Cidofovir may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • During sexual intercourse with a woman who may become pregnant, men taking cidofovir should use a condom during treatment with cidofovir and for 90 days after it is stopped.
  • LAB TESTS, including eye exams, complete blood cell and platelet counts, and kidney function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use cidofovir with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use cidofovir with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Cidofovir may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking cidofovir. Use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy while you are taking cidofovir and for 1 month after you stop using it. If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using cidofovir during pregnancy. It is unknown if cidofovir is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using cidofovir.

Possible side effects of cidofovir:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Decreased appetite; diarrhea; hair loss; headache; nausea; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody of black, tarry stools; chest pain; chills; confusion; dark urine; decreased urination; depression; eye inflammation or irritation; fast heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; loss of coordination; numbness or tingling of the skin, hands, or feet; seizures; severe or persistent sore throat or cough; shortness of breath; stomach pain; sudden weight gain; swelling or bloating; tremors; unsteady movements; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; white patches in the mouth; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of cidofovir:

Cidofovir is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using cidofovir at home, store cidofovir as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep cidofovir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cidofovir, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cidofovir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cidofovir or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cidofovir. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cidofovir. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cidofovir.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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