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Ganciclovir(gan-SY-kloh-veer) is an antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body's immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

Information about Ganciclovir

Ganciclovir is a nucleoside analogue and antiviral agent used in therapy of cytomegalovirus infections. Valganciclovir is the valyl ester prodrug of ganciclovir which can be given orally. When given intravenously, ganciclovir can cause mild, transient and asymptomatic elevations in serum aminotransferase levels, but neither ganciclovir nor valganciclovir have been associated with clinically apparent liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Ganciclovir

Ganciclovir (gan sye' kloe vir) is an acyclic guanosine nucleoside analogue structurally related to acyclovir which has antiviral activity against many herpes viruses, including herpes simplex 1 and 2, Epstein-Barr virus and varicella-zoster, but is used largely in the therapy of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. Ganciclovir is phosphorylated intracellularly by viral kinases and the resultant triphosphate competes with guanosine for incorporation into viral DNA, blocking viral DNA polymerase activity. Because of the requirement for activation by viral kinases, ganciclovir is not active in non-infected cells. Ganciclovir is not well absorbed orally and must be given parenterally to achieved adequate levels for maximal antiviral effect. Valganciclovir (val" gan sye' kloe vir) is the L-valyl ester prodrug of ganciclovir which is well absorbed orally and rapidly converted to ganciclovir by intracellular hydrolases. Ganciclovir and valganciclovir are indicated for therapy and prophylaxis of severe CMV infections.

FDA approval information for Ganciclovir

Ganciclovir was approved for use in the United States in 1994 and is available in a parenteral formulation in generic forms and under the brand name of Cytovene. The usual recommended regimen of therapy in adults for CMV retinitis or systemic infection is 5 mg/kg intravenously every 12 hours for 2 to 3 weeks, which can be followed by maintenance oral therapy using valganciclovir.

FDA approval information for Ganciclovir

Valganciclovir was approved for use in 2001 and is available in 450 mg tablets and as a powder for solution under the brand name of Valcyte. Valganciclovir is recommended in doses of 900 mg once or twice daily. Valganciclovir has replaced oral ganciclovir in therapy and prophylaxis of CMV infections. Side effects of ganciclovir and valganciclovir therapy include headache, dizziness, confusion, tremors, nausea, diarrhea, fever, renal dysfunction, bone marrow suppression and rash. Drugs for HIV Infection, in the Subclass Antiretroviral Agents

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HCV NS5A Inhibitors

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Combination Therapies

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Acyclovir, Cidofovir, Famciclovir, Foscarnet, Ganciclovir, Valacyclovir, Valganciclovir

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