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Vistide Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving cidofovir (Vistide)?

Do not receive this medication if you are allergic to cidofovir, probenecid (Benemid), or sulfa drugs, or if you have severe kidney disease.

Do not receive cidofovir if you have used any of the following medications within the past 7 days:

  • pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet);
  • antibiotics such as capreomycin (Capastat), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled);
  • antiviral medicines such as acyclovir (Zovirax), adefovir (Hepsera), or foscarnet (Foscavir); or
  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), plicamycin (Mithracin), streptozocin (Zanosar), or tretinoin (Vesanoid).

Before using cidofovir, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney disease. You may not be able to receive cidofovir, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using cidofovir and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

This medication can affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 3 months after you stop using cidofovir.

It is not known whether cidofovir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Cidofovir has caused certain types of tumors in animals. It is not known if humans would also have an increased risk of tumors. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

How is cidofovir used (Vistide)?

Cidofovir is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion. You may also be given an IV saline solution for 1 to 3 hours before and after you receive your cidofovir injection. This IV treatment can take up to 6 hours to complete.

To keep you from getting dehydrated, you may also be given an IV saline solution for 1 to 3 hours before and after you receive your cidofovir injection. Your IV treatment can take up to 6 hours to complete.

Cidofovir must be used together with an oral (taken by mouth) medicine called probenecid (Benemid). Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications.

Cidofovir and probenecid are usually given once a week for 2 weeks, and then once every 2 weeks. It is important to receive this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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