Foscarnet may cause serious kidney problems. The risk of kidney damage is greater in people that are dehydrated. Your doctor will order laboratory tests before and during your treatment to see if your kidneys are affected by this medication. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or if you have a dry mouth, dark urine, decreased sweating, dry skin, and other signs of dehydration or recently have had diarrhea, vomiting, fever, infection, excessive sweating, or have been unable to drink enough fluids. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking acyclovir (Zovirax); aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, kanamycin, neomycin, paromomycin, streptomycin, and tobramycin; amphotericin (Abelcet, Ambisome); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall); pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam), or tacrolimus (Astagraf, Prograf). Your doctor may not want you to receive foscarnet injection. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: decreased urination; swelling of the face, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs; unusual tiredness; or weakness.
Foscarnet may cause seizures. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, other nervous system problems, or if you have ever had a low level of calcium in your blood. Your doctor will probably check the level of calcium in your blood before you receive foscarnet injection and during treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: seizures; numbness or tingling around the mouth or in fingers or toes; fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat; or muscle spasms.
Keep all appointments with your doctor, including your eye doctor, and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests, including periodic eye examinations, before and during your treatment to check your body's response to foscarnet. Your doctor may also order an electrocardiogram (ECG; test that measures the electrical activity in the heart) before and during your treatment.
Foscarnet injection is used alone or with ganciclovir (Cytovene) to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis (an eye infection that can cause blindness) in people who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Foscarnet injection is also used to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections of the skin and mucus membranes (mouth, anus) in people whose immune system is not working normally and when treatment with acyclovir did not help. Foscarnet is in a class of medications called antivirals. It works by slowing the growth of CMV and HSV. Foscarnet controls CMV retinitis and HSV infections of the skin and mucus membranes but does not cure these infections.
Foscarnet injection comes as a liquid to be intravenously (into a vein). It is usually infused slowly over 1 to 2 hours every 8 or 12 hours. The length of your treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
You may receive foscarnet injection in a hospital or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving foscarnet injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Foscarnet injection is also sometimes used to treat and prevent CMV infections in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using foscarnet injection,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Foscarnet may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
Foscarnet may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: June 15, 2017.