What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Valcyte Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common and easily-transmitted virus that belongs to the herpes virus family. Once infected, it stays in the body for life. Healthy people lack symptoms and usually are unaware they have the virus as it rarely causes problems.
It is a cause of concern for people with weakened immunity, especially AIDS patients or people with organ transplants. Such patients are at risk of developing CMV retinitis, an inflammation of the retina which may lead to blindness.
Valcyte Active Ingredient
Generic Valcyte Alternative: Valganciclovir-Hydrochloride
Valcyte contains the active ingredient valganciclovir. It is a prodrug form of the medicine ganciclovir and turns into ganciclovir shortly after ingestion.
General Drug Information
What is Valcyte and What Is It Used For?
Valcyte is prescribed to prevent the spread of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in patients who have received organ transplants. The spread of CMV in the body can lead to serious infections, including CMV retinitis, an eye infection, which may cause blindness.
Valcyte is also prescribed to treat CMV retinitis in people with AIDS .
This medication is not a cure for CMV disease. Some people may have worsening CMV retinitis even with treatment. It is important to have regular eye exams.
How to Use Valcyte
Valcyte should be taken as prescribed by a patient’s doctor. Dosage is dependent on the patient’s medical condition and kidney function. In children, dosage is also based on body size and weight.
Most patients are prescribed one or two daily oral doses, usually with food. Tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed.
People using the liquid form of this medication need to shake the bottle well before use. Doses should always be measured with the provided measuring device. Using household spoons may result in the patients receiving inaccurate doses.
It is important to wash hands well after handling Valcyte. Avoid contact with broken or crushed tablets or drops of the medication, especially with the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes. If contact should occur, patients need to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Eyes must be rinsed thoroughly with plain water. Patients should avoid breathing in any dust from the tablets.
Valcyte works best when taken at evenly-spaced intervals, as drug levels in the body need to remain constant. To help patients remember, it is recommended that Valcyte is taken at the same time each day.
The drug should be taken exactly as prescribed. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking the medication without consulting their doctor first. Doing so may worsen the infection and increase the risk of side effects.
Valcyte is the prodrug form of ganciclovir, which means it turns into ganciclovir when ingested. Patients should not take ganciclovir tablets instead of Valcyte. The effects and dosages of the two drugs are not equal.
Patients should keep all medical and laboratory appointments.
Considerations Before Taking Valcyte
Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to ganciclovir or acyclovir with their doctor.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially of kidney dialysis and radiation treatment. Problems with low numbers of blood cells also need to be mentioned.
Valcyte may cause dizziness, drowsiness or trouble concentrating. While taking this medication, patients should not drive, use machinery, or perform other tasks requiring clear vision and alertness until the effects of the medication are known. Alcoholic beverages and marijuana consumption should be limited.
Patients should wash hands well to prevent the spread of any infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections such as flu, chickenpox, or measles.
Patients should not have vaccinations without the consent of their doctor, and should also avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines such as a flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.
Avoid sharp objects and activities such as contact sports in order to minimize the risk of cuts, bruises, and injuries.
Older adults are at greater risk of developing kidney problems while using Valcyte.
Pregnant women or those who may become pregnant should not handle this drug.
During pregnancy, Valcyte should be used only when clearly needed as it may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should have a pregnancy test before starting treatment. They also need to use reliable forms of birth control during treatment, and for at least 30 days after stopping the medication.
Men taking the drug should always use effective barrier protection during all sexual activity in order to protect their female partners from pregnancy. These measures should be applied during treatment and for at least 90 days after stopping the medication.
It is unknown if Valcyte passes into breast milk. Because of possible risk to the infant, it is not recommended to breastfeed while using this drug.
HIV-positive mothers should not breastfeed as breast milk can transmit HIV to their infants.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Valcyte should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up on the dose to catch up.
Other Medications and Valcyte
Drug interactions may change the way Valcyte works and can increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor.
Certain medications – like theHIV drug Videx EC – may interact negatively with Valcyte. The combination antibiotic imipenem/cilastatin also interacts negatively with Valcyte.
Valcyte is very similar to ganciclovir. Do not use medications containing ganciclovir while taking Valcyte.
Patients undergoing other treatments that decrease bone marrow function need additional medical monitoring. This includes patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, treatment with the HIV medication Retrovir, and antibiotics like Proloprim and Bactrim.
Patients need to be cautious in the event they take additional drugs like cyclosporine, which may cause kidney problems. Such patients may need to have their medication doses adjusted to reduce the risk of serious side effects.
Many patients are able to take Valcyte safely without serious side effects.
Some patients may experience dizziness, drowsiness, upset stomach, diarrhea, or tremors. Patients should notify their doctor in the event these effects persist or worsen.
Patients should seek immediate medical attention should they experience serious symptoms like seizures, confusion, and hallucinations, as well as signs of kidney problems manifested in changes in the amount of urine.
Serious allergic reactions to Valcyte are rare, yet patients should be aware of allergy symptoms such as rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.
How to Store Valcyte
Valcyte tablets should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. The liquid form of the medication needs to be kept refrigerated. Do not freeze. The medication expires 49 days after it has been prepared at the pharmacy.
Keep Valcyte away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods
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