What is valganciclovir hydrochloride?
Valganciclovir hydrochloride is anprescription 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, can be opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. An OI is an 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 HIVinfo 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 Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on the uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride in people with HIV to:
- CMV diseases, including CMV retinitis; CMV (infection and inflammation of the large intestine/colon); and CMV esophagitis (infection and inflammation of the esophagus)
- Certain (HHV-8) diseases, including primary effusion (a type of cancer) and multicentric Castleman’s disease (a disease of the )
- CMV retinitis from recurring
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride. See the Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride in adults and adolescents with HIV. Valganciclovir hydrochloride may have other recommended uses not listed above.
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.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, including low blood cell counts or kidney problems.
- If you are receiving hemodialysis or radiation treatment.
- 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. Valganciclovir hydrochloride should not be used during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider about the risks of taking valganciclovir hydrochloride during pregnancy. The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV may include other recommendations on the use of valganciclovir during pregnancy. Please refer to these guidelines for additional information.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby.
- 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?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of valganciclovir hydrochloride, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV, prepared by the , the , and the HIV Medicine Association of the Diseases Society of America.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Powder (for solution), tablet (film coated). The Patient Counseling Information section of the label includes information for people taking valganciclovir hydrochloride.
- Valganciclovir hydrochloride-related research studies, from .
Last Reviewed: December 31, 2020