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Vistide

Generic Name: cidofovir (si DOF o veer)
Brand Name: Vistide

Medically reviewed on November 20, 2017.

The Vistide brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.

What is Vistide?

Vistide is an antiviral medication that prevents certain viral cells from multiplying in your body.

Vistide is used to treat an eye infection called cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMV) in people who have AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). This medicine is not a cure for CMV or AIDS.

Vistide is for treating CMV only in people who have AIDS.

Vistide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Vistide is for treating cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMV) only in people who have AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

You should not receive Vistide if you have moderate to severe kidney disease, or a history of severe allergic reaction to probenecid (Benemid) or sulfa drugs.

Vistide can harm your kidneys. You should not receive this medicine if you have used any of the following drugs within the past 7 days: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable medications to treat osteoporosis or Paget's disease, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Vistide can harm your kidneys after only one or two doses. You will be given other medications to help keep your kidneys working properly while you are receiving this medicine.

Your kidney function will be tested before you receive each dose of Vistide. You may need frequent blood tests to be sure this medication is not causing other harmful effects. Your AIDS treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

Vistide has caused certain types of tumors in animals. It is not known if humans would also have an increased risk of tumors. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive Vistide if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • moderate to severe kidney disease; or

  • a history of severe allergic reaction to probenecid (Benemid) or sulfa drugs.

Vistide can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you have used any of the following drugs within the past 7 days:

  • medicines to treat a bowel disorder;

  • medication to prevent organ transplant rejection;

  • antiviral medications;

  • injectable medications to treat osteoporosis or Paget's disease of bone;

  • chemotherapy;

  • some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve); or

  • any injected antibiotics.

To make sure Vistide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • mild kidney disease;

  • diabetes; or

  • pancreas or liver problems.

Vistide has caused certain types of tumors in animals. It is not known if humans would also have an increased risk of tumors. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Vistide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medicine and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

This medication can affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 3 months after you stop using Vistide.

It is not known whether Vistide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

How is cidofovir given?

Vistide is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Vistide can harm your kidneys after only one or two doses. You will be given intravenous (IV) fluids and oral probenecid while you are receiving this medicine.

Vistide must be given slowly through an IV infusion. Your IV fluids may be given for up to 3 hours before and after you receive your this medicine injection. This IV treatment can take up to 6 hours to complete.

The oral probenecid may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

Vistide and probenecid are usually given once a week for 2 weeks, and then once every 2 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Keep taking the probenecid for the full prescribed length of time. Skipping doses may increase your risk of complications caused by Vistide.

Your kidney function will be tested before you receive each dose of Vistide. You may need frequent blood tests and vision exams to be sure this medication is not causing other harmful effects. Your AIDS treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor if you miss an appointment to receive your Vistide injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving Vistide?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Vistide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • symptoms of kidney failure--swelling, rapid weight gain, little or no urinating, increased thirst, loss of appetite, constipation, pain in your side or lower back;

  • symptoms of a blood cell disorder--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, pale skin, cold or flu symptoms, cough, feeling light-headed or short of breath;

  • signs of pancreas problems--severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;

  • vision changes, white patches on your eyes; or

  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

Probenecid is given together with Vistide, and probenecid may cause:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • skin rash;

  • fever, chills; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Vistide?

Some medicines can interact with Vistide and should not be used at the same time. There are also some medicines that may interact with probenecid or other medications that are commonly given together with this medicine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

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