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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2002 Aug 1;30(4):392-400.

A safety study of oral valganciclovir maintenance treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis.

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  • 1Quest Clinical Research, San Francisco, California 94115, USA. drjay@questclinical.com


Valganciclovir, an oral prodrug of the anti-cytomegalovirus (CMV) agent ganciclovir, was evaluated in a single-arm open-label safety study. AIDS patients (median CD4 lymphocyte count of 140 cells/microL) with treated CMV retinitis (N = 212) received 900-mg once-daily valganciclovir maintenance therapy with courses of 900-mg twice-daily valganciclovir induction therapy as needed to treat progression. After a median treatment duration of 372 days, the adverse event profile was similar to that reported for intravenous (IV) and oral ganciclovir. Adverse event rates of note were diarrhea (35%), nausea (23%), fever (18%), neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <500 cells/microL) (10%), and anemia (hemoglobin <8.0 g/dL) (12%). Consistent with prior treatment studies of oral ganciclovir, IV catheter-related adverse events were uncommon (6%) and lower than previously reported for IV ganciclovir. The mortality rate was 0.072 deaths per patient-year. Progression of CMV retinitis occurred in 17% of patients during the study treatment period, usually in association with a low CD4 cell count. Other than a higher than expected frequency of oral candidiasis (17%), no clinical toxicities or laboratory abnormalities occurred during treatment with valganciclovir that have not been observed during treatment with ganciclovir.

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