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Quick guide to Ganciclovir Ophthalmic Implant

Brand Name(s): Vitrasert

Generic Name Ganciclovir Ophthalmic Implant

What is ganciclovir intravitreal implant?

GANCICLOVIR (Vitrasert®) is used to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis (viral eye infection). The implant will only treat the eye into which it has been placed. Other regions of the body can be affected by CMV and require additional treatment. Generic ganciclovir intravitreal implants are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive ganciclovir intravitreal implant?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding problems
  • blood disorders
  • other eye infections
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ganciclovir, acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Ganciclovir implants are placed in position by a surgical procedure that requires a high level of surgical skill. The procedure is only carried out by a well-trained surgeon.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with ganciclovir intravitreal implant?

No interactions with other medicines have been observed with ganciclovir intravitreal implants. However, tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, or using, including non-prescription medicines. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving ganciclovir intravitreal implant?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • bleeding in the eye
  • cataract formation
  • detached retina
  • eye pain, prolonged changes in vision

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • swelling, pain, and inflammation of the eye
  • temporary loss of vision

What should I watch for while taking ganciclovir intravitreal implant?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Have your ophthalmologist check your eyes regularly (about every 6 weeks).Tell your prescriber or health care professional as soon as you can if you get any other infection or swelling in the eyes. Ganciclovir is not a cure, and repeat courses of the medication are commonly needed to prevent or treat reactivation of the virus. Long-term drug use may be necessary.

After the implant is inserted in your eye, you may find you cannot see as well as you could before the procedure. This effect should be only a temporary result of the surgical procedure and not last for more than 2 to 4 weeks. If your vision does not improve check with your prescriber or health care professional.

Ganciclovir may harm your unborn baby or, in men, decrease sperm production. You should contact your prescriber immediately if you believe or suspect you or your partner has become pregnant while you are taking ganciclovir. Both men and women must use effective birth control continuously while taking ganciclovir. Men should continue to use a condom for at least 90 days after stopping ganciclovir therapy. Do not nurse your baby while you are taking ganciclovir.

Where can I keep my medicine?

This does not apply.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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