Cytomegalovirus Colitis Medication

Updated: May 17, 2021
  • Author: Douglas M Heuman, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.



Class Summary

Inhibit replication of target virus.

Ganciclovir (Cytovene)

Acyclic nucleoside analogue of 2'deoxyguanasine. Phosphorylates first to monophosphate form by CMV-encoded protein kinase homologue, then to diphosphate and triphosphate forms by cellular kinases, allowing for a 100-fold greater concentration in CMV-infected cells. Thought to inhibit CMV replication by competitive inhibition of viral DNA polymerases and by incorporating itself into viral DNA, causing termination of viral DNA elongation. Like acyclovir, ganciclovir is virostatic and only exerts its effect on the replicating virus.

Foscarnet (Foscavir)

Organic analogue of inorganic pyrophosphate that inhibits the replication of herpes simplex viruses, including CMV. Selectively inhibits at pyrophosphate binding site on virus-specific DNA polymerases at concentrations that do not affect cellular polymerases. Unlike ganciclovir, foscarnet does not require activation by a kinase and is active in vitro.