"In a traditional corneal transplant, the central part of the cornea is removed and a donor cornea is sutured in its place. Image courtesy of Dr. Edward Holland, University of Cincinnati.
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea fro"...
Topical Ophthalmic Use Only
ZIRGAN (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) is indicated for topical ophthalmic use only.
Avoidance Of Contact Lenses
Patients should not wear contact lenses if they have signs or symptoms of herpetic keratitis or during the course of therapy with ZIRGAN (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) .
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility
Ganciclovir was carcinogenic in the mouse at oral doses of 20 and 1,000 mg/kg/day (approximately 3,000x and 160,000x the human ocular dose of 6.25 mcg/kg/day, assuming complete absorption). At the dose of 1,000 mg/kg/day there was a significant increase in the incidence of tumors of the preputial gland in males, fore stomach (nonglandular mucosa) in males and females, and reproductive tissues (ovaries, uterus, mammary gland, clitoral gland, and vagina) and liver in females. At the dose of 20 mg/kg/day, a slightly increased incidence of tumors was noted in the preputial and harderian glands in males, fore stomach in males and females, and liver in females. No carcinogenic effect was observed in mice administered ganciclovir at 1 mg/kg/day (160x the human ocular dose). Except for histocytic sarcoma of the liver, ganciclovir-induced tumors were generally of epithelial or vascular origin. Although the preputial and clitoral glands, fore stomach and harderian glands of mice do not have human counterparts, ganciclovir should be considered a potential carcinogen in humans. Ganciclovir increased mutations in mouse lymphoma cells and DNA damage in human lymphocytes in vitro at concentrations between 50 to 500 and 250 to 2,000 mcg/mL, respectively. In the mouse micronucleus assay, ganciclovir was clastogenic at doses of 150 and 500 mg/kg (IV) (24,000x to 80,000x human ocular dose) but not 50 mg/kg (8,000x human ocular dose). Ganciclovir was not mutagenic in the Ames Salmonella assay at concentrations of 500 to 5,000 mcg/mL. Ganciclovir caused decreased mating behavior, decreased fertility, and an increased incidence of embryolethality in female mice following intravenous doses of 90 mg/kg/day (approximately 14,000x the human ocular dose of 6.25 mcg/kg/day). Ganciclovir caused decreased fertility in male mice and hypospermatogenesis in mice and dogs following daily oral or intravenous administration of doses ranging from 0.2 to 10 mg/kg (30x to l,600x the human ocular dose).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects
Pregnancy Category C: Ganciclovir has been shown to be embryotoxic in rabbits and mice following intravenous administration and teratogenic in rabbits. Fetal resorptions were present in at least 85% of rabbits and mice administered 60 mg/kg/day and 108 mg/kg/day (approximately 10,000x and 17,000x the human ocular dose of 6.25 mcg/kg/day), respectively, assuming complete absorption. Effects observed in rabbits included: fetal growth retardation, embryolethality, teratogenicity, and/or maternal toxicity. Teratogenic changes included cleft palate, anophthalmia/microphthalmia, aplastic organs (kidney and pancreas), hydrocephaly, and brachygnathia. In mice, effects observed were maternal/fetal toxicity and embryolethality. Daily intravenous doses of 90 mg/kg/day (14,000x the human ocular dose) administered to female mice prior to mating, during gestation, and during lactation caused hypoplasia of the testes and seminal vesicles in the month-old male offspring, as well as pathologic changes in the nonglandular region of the stomach (see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. ZIRGAN (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
It is not known whether topical ophthalmic ganciclovir administration could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in breast milk. Caution should be exercised when ZIRGAN (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) is administered to nursing mothers.
Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients below the age of 2 years have not been established.
No overall differences in safety or effectiveness have been observed between elderly and younger patients.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/30/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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