Ganciclovir: what is it for and what are the presentations?

Discovering a disease is often a difficult process. Even more so when they are complex conditions and that interfere intensely in the person’s well-being.

However, medications are advances that allow them to have more health and quality of life. One of these is Ganciclovir, which allows the treatment of retinitis caused by cytomegalovirus in patients with immunocompromised conditions, including people with HIV and people who have had a solid organ transplant.

What is Ganciclovir?

Ganciclovir is a drug indicated to treat complications in the retina.

This drug is an antiviral that stops the reproduction of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and prevents it from invading healthy cells.

During treatment, patients should not perform activities that require attention and concentration such as operating machines, driving and driving vehicles.

Ganciclovir may have drug interactions , impairing the action of other drugs (such as Probenecida, Didanosina and Imipenem-cilastatina).

Ideally, this drug should only be administered under the guidance of a general practitioner, ophthalmologist or infectious disease specialist, who will advise on the correct dosage for each case.

What is the medicine Ganciclovir for?

This remedy is indicated to treat inflammation in the retina (retinitis) caused by cytomegalovirus in people with weakened immune systems (patients with seropositive diseases, herpes or measles , for example).

It is worth noting that there are two types of this disease, one related to cytomegalovirus and the other of a genetic nature (called retinitis pigmentosa). Ganciclovir is indicated only in the first case. Therefore, although the affected people have the same symptoms in both cases, the treatment is different.

In general, retinitis is an eye inflammation that affects the retina and causes symptoms such as loss of vision, blurred vision, blindness in dark places and changes in the visual field.

This disease has no cure, but the symptoms can be alleviated with drugs.

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The indication for the use of Ganciclovir varies according to the type of treatment and the degree of complexity of each case.

When the presentation is oral , that is, in tablets, this active ingredient is known only as Ganciclovir .

If the presentation is intravenous (applied to the vein), it is called Ganciclovir Sódico .

Learn a little more about each of these ways:

Oral ganciclovir (tablet)

The oral presentation of this drug must be taken according to the medical recommendation, usually together with one of the large meals (lunch, for example).

Dosage and forms of use should be guided by professionals, taking into account the condition of each patient. 

Ganciclovir sodium (bag)

The intravenous infusion bag is for hospital use only. Ganciclovir sodium is administered intravenously and is indicated for those who have difficulty swallowing the oral solution. The bags can contain in 250mL and 1000mL of medicine in liquid.

What are the side effects?

This remedy can cause some adverse reactions such as anemia , diarrhea , abdominal pain, weakness, anorexia and mental confusion.

Other effects such as itching, headaches, nausea, fever , chills, malaise, weakness and dizziness can also be caused by the use of Ganciclovir.

In addition, Ganciclovir can cause changes in blood cells (such as a decrease in white and red blood cells).

People who have kidney problems should take this drug with caution, as it can contribute to the worsening of the condition.

Brands and price

The presentation of Ganciclovir sodium (which is injectable) is for hospital use only and therefore the sale is restricted to authorized hospitals and laboratories only.

The tablet or ointment versions can be purchased to be used to treat eye inflammation.

The main pharmaceutical industry brands that produce Ganciclovir are:

Chemical union

The Chemical union has existed since 1936 (before it was called “Silver Laboratory” until it received its current name in the 1980s).

With several national and international partnerships, this company has several product lines and brands, which currently vary between cosmetics, supplements and drugs.

Among them is Ganciclovir sodium, called Ganciclotrat , which comes in 1 box with 1 vial of powder and 10mL of diluent to be mixed. The use is intravenous.


Eurofarma is a Brazilian laboratory that has been on the market for 40 years. Currently, the company operates in more than 20 countries in South America, Central and Africa.

This pharmaceutical company stands out for its sustainable projects, seeking to develop medicines with an ecological conscience.

Ganciclovir Sódico Eurofarma is the medicine from this laboratory, which can be purchased for R $ 2,250 *. The box comes with 50 vials of powder and 50 vials with 10mL of diluent for mixing.


One of Blau’s specialties is oncology and infectious diseases. This laboratory operates in several countries in Latin America and has more than 100 products aimed at health.

In this company, Ganciclovir is presented as a tablet and is called  Ganvirax . The box contains 40 hard gelatin capsules, with prices varying between R $ 930 and R $ 990 *.

Halex Istar

Halex Istar is a company specialized in hospital products and parenteral solutions. One such product is Cymevir , similar to Ganciclovir.

The box comes with 1 pouch (for hospital use) with 100mL of Ganciclovir pre-diluted in sodium chloride.


Roche is present in almost 150 countries on all continents. It was founded in 1986, in Switzerland, and today it is one of the largest pharmaceutical and diagnostic groups in the world.

Ganciclovir is also produced by this company. It receives the name of Cymevene and the price is R $ 4,989 *. The box contains 25 vials with 10 ml of powdered solution for intravenous use.

* Prices consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

Does SUS provide Ganciclovir?

Yes, the Unified Health System (SUS) offers this medication free of charge, as long as there is a medical report.

With this medical recommendation in hand, the patient needs to go to a basic health unit, where he will be evaluated to prove the need for Ganciclovir.

After this anti-fraud test, the basic health unit itself will file a lawsuit at the Public Prosecutor’s Office to obtain financing from the Federal Court of Accounts.

Upon receiving the medication, the hospital will schedule the patient with the date of application of Ganciclovir according to the patient’s medical advice and general medical condition.

Which is better: intravenous or oral ganciclovir?

To define whether oral or intravenous administration is best, the ideal is to talk to the doctor (a) who accompanies the treatment.

This is because making this decision depends on several factors, such as the possibility of the patient swallowing, how much he / she supports the physical pain, the restrictive diet and the current clinical condition of the person.

The difference between these two routes is that in the intravenous procedure the medication is applied (with the aid of a hospital hose) directly to the vein, usually from the arm. The oral presentation consists of a pill that must be swallowed.

Another point that differs between the liquid medicine and the pill is that the first is absorbed more quickly by the body, while the second needs to be metabolized (broken) before it can take effect.

Ganciclovir is a drug indicated to treat the retinitis of patients with AIDS and HIV or who have had their retina transplanted.

Consulta Remédios offers a personalized service for patients who need to use this and other high-cost medications! Do you want to know how simple it is to receive a judicial budget? Just access the link and fill out the form!