PDR Health


Generic name: Valganciclovir

What is Valcyte?

Valcyte (valganciclovir) is an antiviral medication that prevents cytomegalovirus (CMV) from multiplying in your body. CMV is a common virus that can cause serious problems for people with weakened immune systems, such as people who have had organ transplants.

Valcyte is used to treat CMV retinitis (an infection of the retina of the eye). Valcyte is also used to prevent CMV infection in people who have received organ transplants.


Health Benefits

Valcyte may improve symptoms of CMV retinitis, such as vision problems. It can also help prevent CMV infection in people who have received organ transplants.

Side Effects

Valcyte can cause serious side effects, including kidney problems, low blood cell counts, and seizures. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking Valcyte.

Please read the Medication Guide and Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking Valcyte and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. To prevent nausea from occurring, take this medication with food. Try to take this medication at the same time each day.

Dosage and Preparation

Valcyte is available as an oral solution and a tablet. It is usually taken two or three times daily with or without food. The tablets should be swallowed whole; do not crush or chew them.

If you are taking the oral solution, shake the bottle well before each dose. Measure the oral solution accurately with a dosing syringe or measuring cup.


Valcyte may interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Mechanism of Action

Valcyte works by preventing the CMV virus from multiplying. This helps to decrease the amount of CMV in your body and reduces the symptoms of CMV infection.


Valcyte is absorbed quickly and completely from the gastrointestinal tract. It is metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine.

half-life of Valcyte is about 8 hours.

Alternatives to Valcyte

There are no known alternatives to Valcyte.

How long does it take to work?

Valcyte begins to work within 1-2 days after it is started. However, it may take up to 4 weeks for the full effect of Valcyte to be seen.

How long does it last?

The duration of treatment with Valcyte depends on the reason why it is being used. For CMV retinitis, treatment is usually continued until the retina has healed. For prevention of CMV infection in people who have received organ transplants, treatment is usually given for 3 months.

Storage and stability

Valcyte should be stored at room temperature, between 20°C and 25°C. Store in a tightly closed container. Do not freeze.

Valcyte oral solution is stable for 90 days at room temperature. Once mixed, Valcyte oral solution should be used within 12 hours. Discard any unused portion after 12 hours.

Valcyte tablets are stable for 30 days at room temperature.