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What does it do?

Valganciclovir is used to treat and prevent viral infections caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have blood or kidney problems or have ever had a seizure.
  • Valganciclovir is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women receiving valganciclovir should use effective contraception (eg oral contraceptive pill or condoms) during treatment. Men receiving valganciclovir should use barrier contraception (eg condoms) during the course of valganciclovir and for 3 months afterwards.
  • Valganciclovir can affect fertility in both men and women – discuss with your doctor.

How should you take it?

Take valganciclovir regularly as directed with food and a glass of water. Do not break or crush the tablets.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with valganciclovir including:

  • trimethoprim

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of allergy including: skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing

Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Changes in vision


Tell your doctor immediately

Unusual behaviour or thinking

Confusion, drowsiness or weakness

Tiredness, dizziness, pale skin

Tell your doctor

Numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes

Headache, trouble sleeping, tremor

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • You will need regular blood tests while taking valganciclovir to monitor its effects on your blood and kidneys.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking valganciclovir.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed