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Generic Name: Ganciclovir ophthalmic [gan-SYE-klo-vir-off-THAL-mik]
Class of Drugs: Ophthalmic anti-infectives

What is Zirgan?

Zirgan can be described as an antiviral medication. It reduces the development and spread of CMV.Zirgan Ophthalmic Gel is used for treating eye ulcers that are caused by the herpes simplex virus in children and adults who are at least two years old.

Zirgan does not provide treatment for CMV or herpes. The medication is not able to treat the symptoms caused by these diseases in any other area of the human body.


It is recommended not to take Zirgan if you have an allergy to acyclovir or ganciclovir (Zovirax).Zirgan isn't a cure for cytomegalovirus, also known as herpes. The medication is not able to treat symptoms of these diseases in any other area of the human body.

To ensure that you are able to safely take Zirgan, inform your doctor if you are suffering from lower levels of platelets present in your blood (easy bleeding or bruising) or if you have the presence of an infection in any area within the organs (other than the eyes).Don't wear contact lenses when you are taking Zirgan. Do not wear contact lenses when you are suffering from an active eye ulcer or infection.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to use Zirgan in the event that you are allergic to acyclovir or ganciclovir (Zovirax).

To ensure that you are able to safely take Zirgan, consult your physician about any of the following health conditions:

  • An infection that affects any part of your body (other than your eyes)
  • Lower levels of platelets present in the blood (easy bleeding or bruising).

It isn't known if Zirgan could harm a newborn baby. Inform your doctor if you are expecting or planning to have a baby while using this drug. Ganciclovir could reduce the number of sperm and affect a man's fertility (ability to bear children). It's not clear if the ganciclovir is absorbed into breast milk or whether it is harmful to the nursing infant. Don't use Zirgan without consulting your physician, whether you are breastfeeding or not. Zirgan gel shouldn't be administered to children less than 2 years old.

Inform your doctor if you are nursing or pregnant.

How to take Zirgan?

Utilize Zirgan's ophthalmic gel as directed by your physician. Follow the instructions on your prescription label and go through all the medication guides or instructions.

Zirgan ophthalmic gel is typically applied every 3 hours during the time you're awake (up to 5 times every day). After an eye ulcer is healed, the gel is typically applied three times a day for seven days. Follow the dosing guidelines of your physician extremely carefully.

Clean your hands before applying eye drops.

To apply Zirgan:

  • Turn your head slightly back and then pull your lower eyelids to create an eyelid pocket. Place the dropper over the eye, with the tip facing towards the back. Keep your eyes up but away from the bottle while you squeeze the drop from this pocket. Keep your eyes closed for approximately an hour or so.
  • Make sure you only use the drops that your doctor has prescribed to you.
  • Simply press your finger towards the inside of your eyes (near the nose) for about one minute to stop the liquid from leaking into the tear duct. If you apply several drops to one eye, allow approximately 5 minutes before pouring on the second drop.

Be sure not to allow the edge of the dropper to touch any object, such as your hands or eyes. If the dropper is contaminated, it could trigger an eye infection that could cause loss of vision or even serious damage to your eye.

Zirgan doesn't help treat the herpes virus, or CMV. The condition may persist even after treatment with this medication. Your doctor should monitor your improvement frequently and will require regular eye exams.

Ask your doctor before using contact lenses. Wearing them can increase your chance of having multiple herpes infections as well as eye ulcers.Keep Zirgan in a cool, dry place far from heat and moisture. Don't freeze. Close the bottle when not being used.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex Dendritic Keratitis:

Instill one drop into the affected eye five times daily (about every 3–4 hours when awake) until the corneal ulcer heals. After that, instill one drop three times per day for seven consecutive days.
Use: To treat acute herpetic skin inflammation (dendritic ulcers).

Usual Paediatric Dose for Herpes Simplex Dendritic Keratitis:

Aged 2 or over 2 years old or older: Instill 1 drop of the medicine into the affected eye five times per day (about three hours when awake) until the corneal ulcer heals, after which you can instill one drop three times per day for seven days.
Use: In the treatment of acute herpetic keratitis (dendritic ulcers),

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medication as quickly as you are able, but do not miss your missed dose if you are close to the time for the next dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency treatment or contact the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 in the event that anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

Avoid this

Zirgan may cause blurred vision. Avoid driving and other hazardous activities until you understand what this medicine can do to you.Be careful not to touch your eyes. Clean your hands often to avoid spreading the infection.Do not take any other eye medication unless your doctor directs you to.

Don't wear contact lenses while taking Zirgan. Do not wear contact lenses if you suffer from an active eye ulcer or infection.

Side effects of Zirgan

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy reaction, Zirgan includes hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of your lips, face, and throat.

Contact your doctor immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Vision change;
  • Eye redness, pain, burning, or a dry eye;
  • A gritty sensation, like you're looking at something;
  • Eyes that are watery Your eyes could have a greater sensitivity to light.

Common Zirgan side effects could be:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation,
  • Redness, watering, sensitization to light

This is not a comprehensive list of possible side effects, and other effects may also be present. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

Eye medicine is unlikely to be affected by any other medications you take. However, many medications can interact. Discuss with your doctor all of your current medications that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.