What is the role of foscarnet in the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV)?

Updated: Jul 07, 2021
  • Author: Ricardo Cedeno-Mendoza, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Foscarnet is a DNA chain inhibitor of phosphorylation. It has been used to treat resistant HSV and ganciclovir-resistant viruses. It is an effective antiviral.

Meticulous attention must be paid to the patient's renal function. Small changes in creatinine levels require new calculations for renal clearance. Foscarnet is nephrotoxic. The patient must be well hydrated.

Foscarnet may cause changes in calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Other adverse effects include neurological toxicities, anemia, headache, and nausea. It can cause a fixed drug reaction on the penis.

See the Medication section for dosing.

Foscarnet does not require intracellular phosphorylation. Foscarnet resistance is secondary to mutations of the viral DNA polymerase involving codons from 696-845.

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