1 What is Zirgan?

Brand: Zirgan

Generic: Ganciclovir

Zirgan ophthalmic gel is used for the treatment of acute herpetic keratitis (dendritic ulcers). Herpetic keratitis is an infection of the cornea (front part of the eye) by herpes simplex virus.

This medicine is only available through your doctor's prescription. This product is available in the gel/jelly dosage form.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Zirgan, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group has not shown any unwanted effect that would limit its use in children. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 12 years of age.

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not shown any adverse effect of ganciclovir that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.

Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.

So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug. 

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from.

3 Proper Usage

To use Zirgan properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The amount of medication needed to apply in each case will be determined by your doctor.

Your doctor will also tell you that how often you should use this medicine. Do not overuse this topical medication because it is not for long term use.

To use the eye drops:

Wash your hands just before applying the drops. Then tilt your head back and put your finger gently on the lower eyelid, pushing it downward.

Pull the lower eyelid downward and away from the eye. This will create a small space between the eyelid and eyeball.

Put the medication in this space and let go of the lower eyelid and then close your eyes. Apply some pressure on the inner corner of your eye to stop the drainage of the drug and letting it absorbed in the eye.

Wash your hands immediately after applying the medication. This will remove any medication left on your hands.

To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the dropper to any surface (including the eye). Always keep the container tightly closed

To avoid adverse effects, this drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider.

Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage: This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.

Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Zirgan, there are some precautions you must take. You should revisit your eye doctor after the regular interval to have a thorough eye examination.

The doctor will make sure that the drug is working or not and whether you have developed any adverse effects from the medication.

Avoid wearing contact lenses while you are using this medicine to avoid further eye irritation. If you feel any pain or your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Avoid taking any other topical eye medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Zirgan. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • painful irritation of the cornea (clear front part of the eye)
  • redness of the sclera (white part of eyes or inside of the eyelids)
  • blurred vision
  • red, sore eyes

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also, contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug. If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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