Foscarnet (Injection)

Introduction

Foscarnet (fos-KAR-net)

Treats cytomegalovirus (CMV) eye infection in patients with AIDS. Also treats herpes simplex virus infections in the nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum.

Brand Name(s)

Foscavir

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein. This medicine is given slowly, so the needle will stay in place for 1 to 2 hours or longer.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how foscarnet works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Acyclovir, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, methotrexate, pentamidine, tacrolimus
    • Aminoglycoside antibiotics
    • Diuretics (water pills)

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed because the virus can spread to the baby through breast milk.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, anemia, heart disease, a history of seizures, or if you are on a low sodium diet.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Kidney damage
    • Seizures
    • Electrolyte imbalances in your blood, such as low calcium, potassium, or magnesium
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. You will need regular eye exams if you are receiving this medicine for a CMV eye infection.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Fever chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Muscle cramps or spasms, confusion
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands or feet or tingling around your mouth
  • Seizures
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, mild nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Irritation of your genital area
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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