Toggle navigation
Toggle search

Ganciclovir implant (Into the eye)

Ganciclovir (gan-SYE-kloe-vir)

Treats eye infections caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ganciclovir, acyclovir (Zovirax®), famciclovir (Famvir®), or valacyclovir (Valtrex®). These implants should not be used if you have a very low platelet count in your blood or a different kind of eye infection other than a CMV eye infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • You will have surgery so that the doctor can place the eye implant into your eye. The implant will slowly release medicine into your eye over the next 5 to 8 months.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • You should not use eye drops or put any other medicines in your eyes unless you talk to your doctor first.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Problems that may occur during your eye surgery include eye infection, detached retina, or development of cataracts. If you have questions about these or any other risks from having the implants, talk with your doctor.
  • You may not be able to see as clearly for about 2 to 4 weeks after the implant is put in. This is expected after your eye surgery. If your vision does not get better, tell your doctor.
  • Ganciclovir eye implants will not cure CMV eye infections, but may slow progress of the disease.
  • This medicine only works on CMV infection in your eyes. It does not treat CMV infections in other areas of your body.
  • It is important for you to have your eyes checked regularly after the implants are put in. Keep all of the appointments your doctor has scheduled for you.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before the eye implants are put in. Ganciclovir may be harmful to an unborn baby.
  • For men, ganciclovir may decrease the amount of sperm produced, so that you may not be able to have children. If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Eye pain
  • Seeing flashes or sparks
  • Bleeding in your eyes

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

  • Headache

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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.