Cidofovir is an antiviral drug that is used for the treatment of retinitis, encephalitis and cytomegalovirus esophagitis. In the form of gel it is effective in the topical treatment of mucocutaneous infections by Herpes viruses resistant to aciclovir in patients with AIDS. It can also be used in case of infection due to Herpes virus and varicella zoster virus, which are acyclovir-resistant.


What is Cidofovir?


Cidofovir belongs to the class of so-called "nucleoside analogues", agents capable of blocking the activity of a particular enzyme, the DNA polymerase, used by the Cytomegalovirus to produce its DNA: when the virus is no longer capable of producing DNA it is no more able to reproduce, thus slowing the spread of viral infection.


How should Cidofovir be taken?


Cidofovir is administered intravenously (infusion drip into a vein) or by topical application (gel).


Side effects associated with Cidofovir


The main side effects of Cidofovir include:


  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Neutropenia (low white blood cell counts)
  • Uveitis or ocular hypotony
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Rash
  • Proteinuria (protein in the urine)
  • Asthenia
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hair loss


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Cidofovir


The use of Cidofovir is contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity to the active substance. It should not be used in patients with kidney disease or who are taking other medicines that may be harmful to the kidneys; moreover, it should not be used in patients who cannot tolerate sulfur-containing drugs.