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Foscarnet (Foscarnet Sodium) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



Drug Interactions:

A possible drug interaction of foscarnet sodium and intravenous pentamidine has been described. Concomitant treatment of four patients in the United Kingdom with foscarnet sodium and intravenous pentamidine may have caused hypocalcemia; one patient died with severe hypocalcemia. Toxicity associated with concomitant use of aerosolized pentamidine has not been reported.

Since foscarnet decreases serum concentrations of ionized calcium, concurrent treatment with other drugs known to influence serum calcium concentrations should be used with particular caution. Fatalities have been reported in post-marketing surveillance during concomitant therapy with foscarnet and pentamidine.

Because of foscarnet’s tendency to cause renal impairment, the use of foscarnet sodium should be avoided in combination with potentially nephrotoxic drugs such as aminoglycosides, amphotericin B and intravenous pentamidine (see above) unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks to the patient.

Abnormal renal function has been observed in clinical practice during the use of foscarnet sodium and ritonavir, or foscarnet sodium, ritonavir, and saquinavir. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ).

Ganciclovir: The pharmacokinetics of foscarnet and ganciclovir were not altered in 13 patients receiving either concomitant therapy or daily alternating therapy for maintenance of CMV disease.


In controlled clinical trials performed in the United States, overdosage with foscarnet sodium injection was reported in 10 out of 189 patients. All 10 patients experienced adverse events and all except one made a complete recovery. One patient died after receiving a total daily dose of 12.5 g for three days instead of the intended 10.9 g. The patient suffered a grand mal seizure and became comatose. Three days later the patient expired with the cause of death listed as respiratory/cardiac arrest. The other nine patients received doses ranging from 1.14 times to 8 times their recommended doses with an average of 4 times their recommended doses. Overall, three patients had seizures, three patients had renal function impairment, four patients had paresthesias either in limbs or periorally, and five patients had documented electrolyte disturbances primarily involving calcium and phosphate.

Overdose (up to 20 times the recommended dose) has been reported in post-marketing use of foscarnet sodium. Some of these post-marketing reports were relative overdoses in that the dose of foscarnet sodium had not been adjusted in patients with a reduced renal function. The pattern of adverse events associated with a foscarnet sodium overdose is consistent with the known adverse event profile of the drug.

There is no specific antidote for foscarnet sodium overdose. Hemodialysis and hydration may be of benefit in reducing drug plasma levels in patients who receive an overdosage of foscarnet sodium, but the effectiveness of these interventions has not been evaluated. The patient should be observed for signs and symptoms of renal impairment and electrolyte imbalance. Medical treatment should be instituted if clinically warranted.


Foscarnet sodium injection is contraindicated in patients with clinically significant hypersensitivity to foscarnet sodium.

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