Generic Name: Valganciclovir Tablets (VAL gan SYE kloe vir)
Brand Name: Valcyte
- Very bad and sometimes life-threatening blood and bone marrow problems like anemia, low platelet counts, or low white blood cell counts have happened with Valcyte (valganciclovir tablets). Change in dose or even stopping the drug may be needed if any of these side effects happen. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine has caused cancer, fertility problems in males and females that could be long-lasting, and harm to unborn babies in animals. This medicine may have the same effects in humans. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Valcyte:
- It is used to treat a viral infection of the eyes in people with immune system problems.
- It is used to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease after organ transplant.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Valcyte?
- If you have an allergy to valganciclovir, acyclovir, or any other part of this medicine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or low red blood cell count.
- If you have kidney disease or are on dialysis.
- If you are taking ganciclovir. Do not take ganciclovir while taking Valcyte.
- If you are taking imipenem-cilastatin.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this medicine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Valcyte.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Valcyte?
For all uses of Valcyte:
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Valcyte affects you.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Do not run out of this medicine.
- If you are 65 or older, use Valcyte with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. In both men and women, this may go back to normal but sometimes it may not. Talk with your doctor.
- If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during care and for 3 months after care ends. Use a condom.
- If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take this medicine or within 3 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting Valcyte. Talk with your doctor.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping Valcyte (valganciclovir tablets).
- If you get pregnant while taking this medicine or within 1 month after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
For CMV infections of the eye:
- This medicine is not a cure for CMV infections of the eye. Stay under the care of your doctor.
- Have an eye exam as you have been told by your doctor.
How is this medicine (Valcyte) best taken?
Use Valcyte as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take this medicine with food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking Valcyte as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- You will need to take special care when handling this medicine. Check with the doctor or pharmacist to see how to handle Valcyte.
- Do not get this medicine, as well as the liquid, broken tablets, or crushed tablets, on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get it on your skin, wash with soap and water. If you get it in your eyes, rinse with plain water.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with food.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
- Low mood (depression).
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Swelling of belly.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- Shortness of breath.
- Night sweats.
What are some other side effects of Valcyte?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Belly pain.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Not able to sleep.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Not hungry.
- Weight loss.
- Back pain.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Muscle spasm.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Valcyte?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Valcyte, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 Valcyte. 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 the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Valcyte.
Review Date: December 6, 2017
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