Valganciclovir HydrochlorideOther Names: Valcyte, valganciclovir, valganciclovir HCl Drug Class: Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections
What is valganciclovir hydrochloride?
Valganciclovir hydrochloride is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S.(FDA) for the treatment of (CMV ) in adults with AIDS. Valganciclovir hydrochloride is also FDA-approved for the prevention of CMV disease in recipients of organ transplants who are at risk for CMV diseases.
CMV diseases, including CMV retinitis, are opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.
How is valganciclovir hydrochloride used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents include recommendations on the uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride in people with HIV.
Using a medicine as indicated on the medicine label is called; using the medicine in a different way is called . Off-label use, for example, can include using a drug for a different disease or medical condition. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used off-label.
The guidelines include recommendations on the following uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride:
- Treat CMV retinitis
- Prevent CMV retinitis in recipients of organ transplants who are at risk for CMV diseases
- Treat other types of CMV disease, including CMV ( and inflammation of the large intestine/colon) and CMV esophagitis (infection and inflammation of the esophagus)
- Treat certain human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) diseases, including multicentric Castleman’s disease (a disease of the )
The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride recommended in the guidelines. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking valganciclovir hydrochloride?
Before taking valganciclovir hydrochloride, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to valganciclovir hydrochloride or any other medicines.
- If you have low blood cell counts.
- If you have kidney problems.
- If you are receiving hemodialysis.
- If you are receiving radiation treatment.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had.
- About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or remembering to take pills.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Serious birth defects have been seen in the babies of animals treated with valganciclovir hydrochloride during pregnancy. Whether valganciclovir hydrochloride can harm a human baby has not been fully studied. Valganciclovir hydrochloride should not be used during pregnancy. To prevent pregnancy while taking valganciclovir hydrochloride, women should use the birth control of their choice and men should use condoms during treatment and for 90 days after ending treatment. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking valganciclovir hydrochloride when pregnant.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Valganciclovir hydrochloride may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how valganciclovir hydrochloride works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between valganciclovir hydrochloride and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from valganciclovir hydrochloride. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take valganciclovir hydrochloride?
Take valganciclovir hydrochloride according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much valganciclovir hydrochloride to take and when to take it. Before you start valganciclovir hydrochloride and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should valganciclovir hydrochloride be stored?
- Store valganciclovir hydrochloride tablets at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Store valganciclovir hydrochloride oral solution in the refrigerator, between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C), for no longer than 49 days. Do not freeze the oral solution.
- Do not use valganciclovir hydrochloride if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away valganciclovir hydrochloride that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep valganciclovir hydrochloride and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about valganciclovir hydrochloride?
More information about valganciclovir hydrochloride is available:
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the , the , and the HIV Medicine Association of the Diseases Society of America.
- Valganciclovir hydrochloride-related research studies, from the AIDSinfo database of study summaries.
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Powder (for solution), tablet (film coated).
Last Reviewed: December 26, 2018
- Patient Version HTML
- FDA Label: Powder (for solution), tablet (film coated) PDF (455 KB)