Ganciclovir implant

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ganciclovir (gan-SYE-kloe-veer)
Brand Name: Vitrasert

Ganciclovir implant is used for:

Treating cytomegalovirus (CMV) eye infection in patients with AIDS.

Ganciclovir implant is an antiviral agent. It works by blocking the ability of the virus to replicate, which slows the progression of the infection.

Do NOT use ganciclovir implant if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ganciclovir implant or to acyclovir
  • you cannot have eye surgery due to an infection or severe thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count)

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 ganciclovir implant:

Some medical conditions may interact with ganciclovir implant. 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 history of blood disorders or other eye problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ganciclovir implant. Because little, if any, of ganciclovir implant is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ganciclovir implant 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 ganciclovir implant:

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

  • Ganciclovir implant is released into your eye for 5 to 8 months after a small device containing ganciclovir implant is surgically placed in your eye.
  • If you miss a dose of ganciclovir implant, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • Ganciclovir implant may cause blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to ganciclovir implant. Using ganciclovir implant alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Ganciclovir implant 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.
  • Ganciclovir implant is not a cure for CMV infection and you may continue to experience effects during or following treatment.
  • Ganciclovir implant may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using ganciclovir implant.
  • LAB TESTS, including eye exams, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use ganciclovir implant with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Ganciclovir implant is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 9 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Ganciclovir implant may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while using ganciclovir implant. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using ganciclovir implant during pregnancy. It is unknown if ganciclovir implant is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using ganciclovir implant.

Possible side effects of ganciclovir implant:

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:

Increased pressure in the eye.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bleeding in the eye; change in vision or loss of vision; decrease in vision; pain, redness, or light sensitivity in the treated eye; seeing flashes or floating spots.

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 ganciclovir implant:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ganciclovir implant, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ganciclovir implant 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 ganciclovir implant 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 ganciclovir implant. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ganciclovir implant. 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 ganciclovir implant.

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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