Ganciclovir Ophthalmic


Ganciclovir ophthalmic is used to treat herpetic keratitis (dendritic ulcers; eye ulcers caused by a herpes simplex virus infection). Ganciclovir is in a class of medications called antivirals. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the eye.

Side Effects Of Ganciclovir Ophthalmic

Ganciclovir ophthalmic may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • red, swelling, irritated, itchy, or teary eyes
  • Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
  • new or worsening eye sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or eye pain

Ganciclovir ophthalmic may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before applying ganciclovir ophthalmic:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ganciclovir, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in ganciclovir gel. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had other medical conditions.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using ganciclovir ophthalmic, call your doctor.
  • tell your doctor if you wear contact lenses. Your doctor will tell you not to wear contact lenses during your treatment with ganciclovir or if you have any signs of infection.

Dosage Of Ganciclovir Ophthalmic

Ganciclovir ophthalmic comes as a gel to apply to the eyes. It is usually applied as one drop to the affected eye(s) five times a day (about every 3 hours while awake) until the eye(s) heal. Then apply one drop 3 times a day into the affected eye(s) for another 7 days. Use ganciclovir ophthalmic at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use ganciclovir ophthalmic exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

You should expect your symptoms to improve during your treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse, do not go away, or if you develop other problems with your eyes during your treatment.

To apply the eye gel, follow these instructions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else. The gel must be kept clean.
  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket.
  • Holding the tube above the eye with the tip down without touching it.
  • Place a drop of the ganciclovir ophthalmic into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye by squeezing the bottom of the tube. Look up and away from the tube as you squeeze out a drop of gel.
  • Close your eye after the drop goes into your eye Gently press your finger on the inside corner of the eye, near your nose, for 1 minute to keep the gel from going into your tear duct.
  • Wipe off any excess gel from your eyelids and lashes with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.


Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. If you still have symptoms of eye infection after you finish the ganciclovir ophthalmic eye gel, call your doctor.

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.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.