Oral Ganciclovir for Cytomegalovirus Infections
As of November 1994, there were two medications approved in the USA for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in the immunocompromised patient These are the intravenous formulations of ganciclovir and foscarnet In addition, the intravenous formulation of ganciclovir is approved for the prevention of CMV disease in organ transplant recipients. Clinical investigations of an oral administration of ganciclovir were begun in 1986,1 and an encapsulated oral formulation was approved in the USA in December 1994 for management of CMV retinitis in patients with AIDS. Oral therapy with ganciclovir offers several potential advantages over intravenous therapy, including more convenient administration and the lack of long term complications and expense related to intravenous access. In addition, because oral ganciclovir has a very different pharmacokinetic profile compared to the intravenous formulation, it was postulated that it might offer improved efficacy or decreased toxicity. This paper will review the pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of oral ganciclovir, summarized from a number of studies investigating this agent in various clinical settings.
KeywordsIntravenous Formulation 34th Interscience Oral Ganciclovir Intravenous Ganciclovir Oral Maintenance Therapy
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