Ganciclovir Eye Preparation

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Ganciclovir is an anti-viral medication. It is used to treat certain eye infections caused by viruses. 

How should I take/use this medication?

Ganciclovir eye preparation may be available in the form of eye drop or eye gel.
  • Proper use of eye drop
    • Wash your hands with soap and water, and read the instructions on the label.
    • Tilt your head backwards and look up.
    • Gently pull the lower eyelid down to form a pocket and squeeze the bottle to apply one drop into your eye. To prevent the tip of the bottle from getting dirty, make sure the tip does not touch the eye or any other surface.
    • Close your eyes gently and wipe off any excess eye drops around your eyes with a clean tissue.
    • Keep your eyes closed and press down gently on the inner corner of your eye for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed.
    • If you need to use more than 1 drop of medication, or if you are using another type of eye drop, wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before applying the next eye drop. This is to prevent the first drop of medication from being washed away by the second drop before it has time to work. This also prevents any medication interactions between different eye drops.
    • If your doctor prescribed both eye drops and eye ointments, you should use the eye drops first. 
    • Click on this link for a step-by-step guide on how to apply eye drops
  • If you are given an eye gel, it may be applied in the same way as an eye ointment. Click on this link for a step-by-step guide on how to apply eye ointment.
  • DO NOT wear contact lenses during your medication treatment and until the infection has cleared. 
  • Do not stop using your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • Ganciclovir eye preparations are prescribed for your current eye condition only. Do not reuse or exceed the prescribed duration of treatment.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to use a dose, use it as soon as you remember. Then use your next dose at the usual time. Do not use two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. 
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. 
For men and women of childbearing age, birth control measures should be used. In addition, men using ganciclovir are advised to use a barrier contraceptive (e.g. condom) during treatment and for up to three months after completing treatment.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness
  • Eye irritation
These symptoms are usually mild and will subside after some time. Check with your healthcare professional if these conditions are severe or do not improve. 

If you experience blurred vision, do not drive or operate any machinery until your vision is clear.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes around your eyes or over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

How should I store this medication?

For eye gel, store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. 

For eye drop, store in the refrigerator between 2 -8⁰C. Do not freeze.

Keep this medication away from children. 

Record the date opened on the container. Throw it away immediately once contaminated or after reaching its in-use shelf life as recommended by the manufacturer.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jun 2021

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