Generic Name: foscarnet (fos-KAR-net)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Foscarnet may cause kidney damage or seizures. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience a change in the amount of urine. It is important you receive appropriate amounts of fluid (hydration) when foscarnet is used. Your doctor will monitor your blood and kidneys while you are using foscarnet.
Foscarnet is used for:
Managing cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis (a viral infection that can lead to blindness) in patients with AIDS. It may also be used to treat resistant herpes simplex virus (HSV) of the skin or mucous membranes in patients with weakened immune systems who have failed to respond to standard treatment. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Foscarnet is an antiviral agent. It works by inhibiting the growth and reproduction of viruses, which helps fight off infections caused by viruses.
Do NOT use foscarnet if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in foscarnet
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using foscarnet:
Some medical conditions may interact with foscarnet. 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 a central nervous system disease or kidney problems
- if you are dehydrated or have a blood condition (eg, anemia, electrolyte disturbances, low white blood cell counts)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with foscarnet. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics (eg, gentamicin), amphotericin B, pentamidine, ritonavir, saquinavir, or other medicines that may harm the kidney because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased. Check with your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may harm the kidney
- Medicines that may change the amount of calcium in your blood (eg, alendronate, risedronate) because the risk of low blood calcium levels may be increased. Check with your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may change the amount of calcium in your blood
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if foscarnet 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 foscarnet:
Use foscarnet as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking foscarnet is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Foscarnet is usually given as an injection at your doctors office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using foscarnet at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use foscarnet. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use foscarnet if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Foscarnet may cause a burning sensation and irritation if it comes into contact with the skin or eye. If this happens, rinse the area with water.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of foscarnet, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use foscarnet.
Important safety information:
- Foscarnet may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use foscarnet with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Foscarnet is not a cure for CMV infection, and eye inflammation may progress during and after treatment.
- Foscarnet is not a cure for HSV infections. While complete healing is possible, the infection may return.
- Lab tests, including eye exams, kidney function tests, and electrolyte levels, may be performed while you use foscarnet. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use foscarnet with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Foscarnet should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using foscarnet while you are pregnant. It is not known if foscarnet is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using foscarnet, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of foscarnet:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Anxiety; appetite loss; chills; confusion; decreased sensitivity to touch; depression; fatigue; general body discomfort; headache; involuntary muscle movements; joint pain; nausea; pain; rigid muscles; stomach pain; sweating; vision problems.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal skin sensations; cough; decreased urination; diarrhea; dizziness; fainting; fast heartbeat; genital ulcers or irritation; infection (fever, chills, sore throat); irregular heartbeat; numbness in hands, arms, legs, and feet; pain or redness at the injection site; rectal bleeding; seizures; tingling in fingers or around the mouth; unusual tiredness or weakness; urination problems; vomiting.
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. Symptoms may include numbness in the arms, legs, and around the mouth; seizures.Proper storage of foscarnet:
Store foscarnet at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep foscarnet out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about foscarnet, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Foscarnet 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 foscarnet 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 foscarnet. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to foscarnet. 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 foscarnet.
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.
More about foscarnet
- Other brands: Foscavir