Health Guide

Fomivirsen (Into the eye)

Fomivirsen (foe-mi-VIR-sen)

Treats an infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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 fomivirsen.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into your eye by your doctor. Your eye will be numbed with an anesthetic medicine before the injection.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have received cidofovir (Vistide®) as an injection into your veins or eyes during the past 2 to 4 weeks.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine treats CMV only in the eye(s). It will not treat CMV that has infected the rest of your body.
  • You will need to have your eyes checked at regular visits while you are receiving this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain, swelling, or irritation
  • "Seeing stars" that appear to be floating
  • Sensitivity to light

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

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Mild skin rash
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Sinus pain or stuffy nose
  • Stomach pain

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: 7/4/2018
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