Generic Name: cidofovir (sye-DOF-oh-vir)
Acute renal failure resulting in dialysis or contributing to death has been reported. Use intravenous prehydration with normal saline and administration of probenecid with each cidofovir infusion to reduce nephrotoxicity. Monitor renal function within 48 hours prior to each dose and adjust dose as appropriate. Cidofovir is contraindicated in patients who are receiving other nephrotoxic agents. Neutropenia has been observed; monitor neutrophil counts during therapy. Cidofovir was carcinogenic, teratogenic, and caused hypospermia in animal studies .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on July 21, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiviral
Chemical Class: Cytosine Nucleoside Analog
Uses for cidofovir
Cidofovir is an antiviral. It is used to treat infections caused by viruses.
Cidofovir is used to treat the symptoms of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the eyes (CMV retinitis) in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Cidofovir will not cure this eye infection, but it may help to keep the symptoms from becoming worse.
Cidofovir is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using cidofovir
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cidofovir, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cidofovir or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Cidofovir can cause serious side effects, including possible cancer and trouble in having children later. Therefore, it is especially important that you discuss with the child's doctor the good that cidofovir may do as well as the risks of using it.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of cidofovir in the elderly with use in other age groups.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking cidofovir, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using cidofovir with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of cidofovir. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Kidney disease—Cidofovir can cause harmful effects on the kidney
Proper use of cidofovir
To get the best results, cidofovir must be given for the full time of treatment. Also, cidofovir works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, cidofovir must be given on a regular schedule.
The dose of cidofovir will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of cidofovir. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For injection dosage form:
- For treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis:
- Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 5 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (2.3 mg per pound) of body weight is injected slowly into a vein once a week for two weeks in a row. Then the dose is reduced to 5 mg per kg (2.3 mg per pound) of body weight injected slowly into a vein once every two weeks. Probenecid is taken along with each dose of cidofovir; follow your doctor's instructions for how much and when to take probenecid.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis:
Precautions while using cidofovir
It is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits for any blood problems that may be caused by cidofovir.
It is very important that your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) check your eyes at regular visits since it is still possible that you may have some loss of eyesight during cidofovir treatment.
Cidofovir side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Medicines like cidofovir can sometimes cause serious side effects such as blood problems and kidney problems; these are described below. Cidofovir has also been found to cause cancer in animals, and there is a chance it could cause cancer in humans as well. Discuss these possible side effects with your doctor.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Fever, chills, or sore throat
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Decreased urination
- increased thirst and urination
- Decreased vision or any change in vision
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- loss of appetite
- Generalized weakness
- loss of strength
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
More about cidofovir
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Drug class: purine nucleosides
- FDA Alerts (1)
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.