Valganciclovir Side Effects

It is possible that some side effects of valganciclovir may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to valganciclovir: oral powder for solution, oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, valganciclovir may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking valganciclovir, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • cough
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • headache
  • hoarseness
  • lower back or side pain
  • nervousness
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • seeing flashes or sparks of light
  • seeing floating spots before the eyes
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • veil or curtain appearing across part of vision
Less common
  • Changes in facial skin color
  • confusion
  • false beliefs
  • fast or irregular breathing
  • feeling, hearing, or seeing things that are not there
  • hives, itching, and skin rash
  • large, hive-like swellings on the eyelids, face, lips, mouth, or tongue
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • seizures
  • tightness in the chest or wheezing
  • trouble thinking

Some valganciclovir side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the hands or feet
  • sleeplessness
  • tingling, burning, or prickly sensations
  • trouble with sleeping
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
Less common
  • Agitation

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to valganciclovir: oral powder for reconstitution, oral tablet


After oral administration, valganciclovir is rapidly converted to ganciclovir. Therefore, side effects that are known to be associated with ganciclovir administration can be expected to occur with the administration of valganciclovir.

The most common side effects reported in at least one indication by greater than or equal to 20% of patients treated with valganciclovir tablets are diarrhea, pyrexia, nausea, tremor, neutropenia, anemia, graft rejection, thrombocytopenia, and vomiting.


Gastrointestinal side effects have included diarrhea (up to 41%), nausea (up to 30%), vomiting (up to 21%), and abdominal pain (up to 15%). Constipation, dyspepsia, abdominal distention, and ascites have been reported.


Hematologic side effects have included neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] less than 500/mcL: up to 19%; ANC 500 to less than 750/mcL: up to 17%; ANC 750 to less than 1000/mcL: up to 17%), anemia (hemoglobin [Hgb] less than 8 g/dL: up to 8%; Hgb less than 6.5 g/dL: up to 7%; Hgb 6.5 to less than 8 g/dL: up to 13%; Hgb 8 to less than 9.5 g/dL: up to 31%), and thrombocytopenia (less than 25,000 platelets/mcL: up to 4%; 25,000 to less than 50,000 platelets/mcL: up to 6%; 50,000 to less than 100,000 platelets/mcL: up to 22%). Leukopenia, pancytopenia, bone marrow depression, aplastic anemia, and potentially life-threatening bleeding associated with thrombocytopenia have been reported. Neutrophil dysplasia with evidence of bone marrow hypoplasia has also been reported.


Immunologic side effects have included graft rejection in transplant patients (up to 24%).


Ocular side effects have included retinal detachment (15%).

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (up to 22%), tremors (up to 28%), insomnia (up to 20%), peripheral neuropathy (9%), and paresthesia (up to 8%). Neurotoxicity, dizziness (excluding vertigo), and convulsions have also been reported.


Renal side effects have included elevated serum creatinine (greater than 2.5 mg/dL: up to 17%; greater than 1.5 to 2.5 mg/dL: up to 50%), acute renal failure, renal impairment, dysuria, and decreased creatinine clearance.


Oncologic side effects have included the potential to cause cancers; therefore, valganciclovir is considered a potential carcinogen in humans. In animal studies, ganciclovir was found to be carcinogenic.


Psychiatric side effects have included psychosis, depression, hallucinations, confusion, and agitation.


Other side effects have included pyrexia (up to 31%), catheter-related infections (3%), fatigue, pain, edema, peripheral edema, and weakness. Local and systemic infections, sepsis, pharyngitis/nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, postoperative wound infection, postoperative complications, postoperative pain, increased wound drainage, and wound dehiscence have been reported.


Hypersensitivity side effects have included valganciclovir hypersensitivity.


Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertension (up to 18%) and hypotension.


Hepatic side effects have included abnormal hepatic function.


Metabolic side effects have included hyperkalemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hyperglycemia, decreased appetite, dehydration, hypophosphatemia, and hypocalcemia.


Musculoskeletal side effects have included back pain, arthralgia, muscle cramps, and limb pain.


Respiratory side effects have included cough, dyspnea, rhinorrhea, and pleural effusion.


Dermatologic side effects have included dermatitis, pruritus, and acne.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.