Vistide (Cidofovir): the “Hammer’
an antiviral drug FDA approved for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in patients with AIDS. (Cytomegalovirus is a member of the herpesvirus family. A subset of CFS patients have activated herpes infections (HHV-6, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and CMV.) (Vistide has been nicknamed the ‘the Hammer’ because of its powerful effects. )
Vistide has been used off-label in the treatment of a variety of viruses including human papillomavirus, BHK virus, herpes simplex virus, vaccinia virus. A case of intractable HHV-6B infection causing treatment resistant diarrhea in a pediatric cancer patient resolved with Vistide.
A drug company is developing a lipid-based form of Vistide which may greatly increase its effectiveness and reduce the possible side effects.
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Vistide May Be Useful in CFS Because..
it can treat infections that a subset of patients may have.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Studies
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Doctors Report
Dr. Peterson appears to have been using Vistide in a select group of patients since at least 2008. At a lecture in Sweden he referred to a severely ill patient who returned to complete health after Vistide.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Patients Report
Reportedly very costly but can be covered by insurance.
Vistide is administered with Probenecid. According to the manufacturer intraveous infusions of Vistide are given once a week for the first two weeks and then once every two weeks thereafter.
Possible Side Effects
Kidney problems are the main concern with Vistide. Kidney functioning using a routine urinalysis must be determined 48 hours prior to each dose of Vistide. Patients with increased urine creatinine levels are not candidates for Vistide therapy.
The manufacturer warns that cases of acute kidney failure resulting in the need for dialysis or death have occurred from as few as one or two doses of Vistide. In some cases kidney functioning did not return to normal following discontinuation of Vistide. Evidence of renal toxicity necessitating a reduction of dose is not uncommon.
Other Side Effects
In animal studies Vistide was shown to have cancer causing properties, to be able to cause birth defects and reduce sperm counts. One rodent trial was closed early because of the obvious presence of adenocarcinoma’s. Vistide also commonly reduces white blood cells levels, alters pH levels, and causes fever and other symptoms. In clinical trials Vistide caused at least temporary problems with nausea, vomiting, fever and/or kidney dysfunction (proteinuria) in over 50% of patients and many other symptoms (including ironically infection) were reported. Twenty-five percent of patients in one clinical trial withdrew because of adverse events.
The Phoenix Rising website is compiled by a layman. It is not a substitute for a physician and is for informational uses only. It does not present complete information on this drug or any treatment. Please discuss any treatments in these pages with your physician.
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