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Nephrotoxicity: Dose-dependent nephrotoxicity is the major dose-limiting toxicity related to VISTIDE (cidofovir) administration. Cases of acute renal failure resulting in dialysis and/or contributing to death have occurred with as few as one or two doses of VISTIDE (cidofovir) . Renal function (serum creatinine and urine protein) must be monitored within 48 hours prior to each dose of VISTIDE (cidofovir) . Dose adjustment or discontinuation is required for changes in renal function (serum creatinine and/or urine protein) while on therapy. Proteinuria, as measured by urinalysis in a clinical laboratory, may be an early indicator of VISTIDE (cidofovir) -related nephrotoxicity. Continued administration of VISTIDE (cidofovir) may lead to additional proximal tubular cell injury, which may result in glycosuria, decreases in serum phosphate, uric acid, and bicarbonate, elevations in serum creatinine, and/or acute renal failure, in some cases, resulting in the need for dialysis. Patients with these adverse events occurring concurrently and meeting a criteria of Fanconi's syndrome have been reported. Renal function that did not return to baseline after drug discontinuation has been observed in clinical studies of VISTIDE (cidofovir) .

Intravenous normal saline hydration and oral probenecid must accompany each VIS-TIDE infusion. Probenecid is known to interact with the metabolism or renal tubular excretion of many drugs (see PRECAUTIONS). The safety of VISTIDE (cidofovir) has not been evaluated in patients receiving other known potentially nephrotoxic agents, such as intravenous aminoglycosides (e.g., tobramycin, gentamicin, and amikacin), amphotericin B, foscarnet, intravenous pentamidine, vancomycin, and non-steroidal antiinflammatory agents (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Preexisting Renal Impairment: Initiation of therapy with VISTIDE (cidofovir) is contraindicated in patients with a baseline serum creatinine > 1.5 mg/dL, a creatinine clearance ≤ 55 mL/min, or a urine protein ≥ 100 mg/dL (equivalent to ≥ 2+ proteinuria).

Hematological Toxicity: Neutropenia may occur during VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy. Neutrophil count should be monitored while receiving VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy.

Decreased Intraocular Pressure/Ocular Hypotony: Decreased intraocular pressure may occur during VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy, and in some instances has been associated with decreased visual acuity. Intraocular pressure should be monitored during VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy.

Metabolic Acidosis: Decreased serum bicarbonate associated with proximal tubule injury and renal wasting syndrome (including Fanconi's syndrome) have been reported in patients receiving VISTIDE (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Cases of metabolic acidosis in association with liver dysfunction and pancreatitis resulting in death have been reported in patients receiving VISTIDE (cidofovir) .



Due to the potential for increased nephrotoxicity, doses greater than the recommended dose must not be administered and the frequency or rate of administration must not be exceeded (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

VISTIDE (cidofovir) is formulated for intravenous infusion only and must not be administered by intraocular injection. Administration of VISTIDE (cidofovir) by infusion must be accompanied by oral probenecid and intravenous saline prehydration (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).


Uveitis or iritis was reported in clinical trials and during postmarketing in patients receiving VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy. Treatment with topical corticosteroids with or without topical cycloplegic agents should be considered. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of uveitis/iritis during VISTIDE (cidofovir) therapy.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, & Impairment of Fertility

Chronic, two-year carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice have not been carried out to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of cidofovir. However, a 26-week toxicology study evaluating once weekly subscapular subcutaneous injections of cidofovir in rats was terminated at 19 weeks because of the induction, in females, of palpable masses, the first of which was detected after six doses. The masses were diagnosed as mammary adenocarcinomas which developed at doses as low as 0.6 mg/kg/week, equivalent to 0.04 times the human systemic exposure at the recommended intravenous VISTIDE (cidofovir) dose based on AUC comparisons.

In a 26-week intravenous toxicology study in which rats received 0.6, 3, or 15 mg/kg cidofovir once weekly, a significant increase in mammary adenocarcinomas in female rats as well as a significant incidence of Zymbal's gland carcinomas in male and female rats were seen at the high dose but not at the lower two doses. The high dose was equivalent to 1.1 times the human systemic exposure at the recommended dose of VISTIDE (cidofovir) , based on comparisons of AUC measurements. In light of the results of these studies, cidofovir should be considered to be a carcinogen in rats as well as a potential carcinogen in humans.

Cynomolgus monkeys received intravenous cidofovir, alone and in conjunction with concomitant oral probenecid, intravenously once weekly for 52 weeks at doses resulting in exposures of approximately 0.7 times the human systemic exposure at the recommended dose of VISTIDE (cidofovir) . No tumors were detected. However, the study was not designed as a carcinogenicity study due to the small number of animals at each dose and the short duration of treatment.

No mutagenic response was observed in microbial mutagenicity assays involving Salmonella typhimurium (Ames) and Escherichia coli in the presence and absence of metabolic activation. An increase in micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes in vivo was seen in mice receiving ≥ 2000 mg/kg, a dosage approximately 65-fold higher than the maximum recommended clinical intravenous VISTIDE (cidofovir) dose based on body surface area estimations. Cidofovir induced chromosomal aberrations in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro without metabolic activation. At the 4 cidofovir levels tested, the percentage of damaged metaphases and number of aberrations per cell increased in a concentration-dependent manner.

Studies showed that cidofovir caused inhibition of spermatogenesis in rats and monkeys. However, no adverse effects on fertility or reproduction were seen following once weekly intravenous injections of cidofovir in male rats for 13 consecutive weeks at doses up to 15 mg/kg/week (equivalent to 1.1 times the recommended human dose based on AUC comparisons). Female rats dosed intravenously once weekly at 1.2 mg/kg/week (equivalent to 0.09 times the recommended human dose based on AUC) or higher, for up to 6 weeks prior to mating and for 2 weeks post mating had decreased litter sizes and live births per litter and increased early resorptions per litter. Peri- and post-natal development studies in which female rats received subcutaneous injections of cidofovir once daily at doses up to 1.0 mg/kg/day from day 7 of gestation through day 21 postpartum (approximately 5 weeks) resulted in no adverse effects on viability, growth, behavior, sexual maturation or reproductive capacity in the offspring.

Pregnancy: Category C

Cidofovir was embryotoxic (reduced fetal body weights) in rats at 1.5 mg/kg/day and in rabbits at 1.0 mg/kg/day, doses which were also maternally toxic, following daily intravenous dosing during the period of organogenesis. The no-observable-effect levels for embryotoxicity in rats (0.5 mg/kg/day) and in rabbits (0.25 mg/kg/day) were approximately 0.04 and 0.05 times the clinical dose (5 mg/kg every other week) based on AUC, respectively. An increased incidence of fetal external, soft tissue and skeletal anomalies (meningocele, short snout, and short maxillary bones) occurred in rabbits at the high dose (1.0 mg/kg/day) which was also maternally toxic. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. VISTIDE (cidofovir) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether cidofovir is excreted in human milk. Since many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for adverse reactions as well as the potential for tumorigenicity shown for cidofovir in animal studies, VISTIDE (cidofovir) should not be administered to nursing mothers. The U.S. Public Health Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises HIV-infected women not to breast-feed to avoid postnatal transmission of HIV to a child who may not yet be infected.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in children have not been studied. The use of VISTIDE (cidofovir) in children with AIDS warrants extreme caution due to the risk of long-term carcino-genicity and reproductive toxicity. Administration of VISTIDE (cidofovir) to children should be undertaken only after careful evaluation and only if the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.

Geriatric Use

No studies of the safety or efficacy of VISTIDE (cidofovir) in patients over the age of 60 have been conducted. Since elderly individuals frequently have reduced glomerular filtration, particular attention should be paid to assessing renal function before and during VISTIDE administration (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/14/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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