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Valganciclovir is used in the treatment of eye infections by herpes simplex virus

How it works

Valganciclovir prevents the multiplication of the virus in human cells. Thus stops the virus from producing new viruses.

Common side effects

Anemia, Diarrhoea, Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils), Breathing difficulty

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Expert advice

  • Special care should be taken in patients who have hematological cytopenia (deficiency in cellular elements in circulating blood) or history of drug-related hematological cytopenia and in patients receiving radiotherapy or hemodialysis.
  • Seek medical advice from your doctor while taking valganciclovir as it has potential to cause birth defects, cancers, temporary or permanent failure of sperm production.
  • Valganciclovir may reduce the blood cell count. Do not start the treatment until neutrophil count is >500 cells/?l, platelet count >25000/?l, or hemoglobin level >8 g/dl.
  • Females of child bearing potential should use effective contraception while on valganciclovir therapy.
  • Males should practice barrier contraception during treatment for ?90 days and thereafter unless it is sure that the female partner is not at risk of pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking imipenem-cilastatin, as it may cause fits if taken concomitantly.
  • Do not take didanosine, zidovudine, mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid, or probenecid while taking valganciclovir as it may worsen the side effects.
  • You may be monitored with complete blood counts and platelet counts tests at regular intervals during valganciclovir treatment.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as valganciclovir may make you drowsy, dizzy, unsteady, confused, less alert, or cause seizures.

Frequently asked questions



Is valganciclovir cytotoxic?
No, valganciclovir is not cytotoxic


What is valganciclovir used for?
Valganciclovir is used for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of retina (retinitis) in adult patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is also used for the prevention of CMV infection in patients who have received an organ transplant from a CMV-infected donor


Does valganciclovir cover HSV?
Valganciclovir can also be used for treatment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Please follow doctor's advice regarding its use

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How does valganciclovir work?
After taken orally, valganciclovir gets converted into ganciclovir by liver and intestinal enzymes, which then prevents the growth and spread of cytomegalovirus.

Content on this page was last updated on 02 March, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)