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Vitrasert implant

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

Vitrasert implant is used for:

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

Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Vitrasert 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.

Before using Vitrasert implant:

Some medical conditions may interact with Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant. Because little, if any, of Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant:

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

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

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

Important safety information:

  • Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant. Using Vitrasert implant alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Vitrasert 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.
  • Vitrasert implant is not a cure for CMV infection and you may continue to experience effects during or following treatment.
  • Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Vitrasert 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: Vitrasert implant may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while using Vitrasert implant. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Vitrasert implant during pregnancy. It is unknown if Vitrasert implant is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Vitrasert implant.

Possible side effects of Vitrasert 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 Vitrasert implant:

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

General information:

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

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.