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IUPAC name: 2-amino-9-(1,3-dihydroxypropan-2-yloxymethyl)-3H-purin-6-one
Synonyms: Cytovene®, Vitrasert®
Formula: C9H13N5O4

 Uses: antiviral drug

 Properties: acyclovir analog

 Hazards: see drug interactions

Mass (g/mol): CAS #:
255.2306 82410-32-0

Ganciclovir is an antiviral drug used to treat herpesviruses, particularly cytomegalovirus associated with [[HIVAIDS, although other human viruses, including herpes simplex viruses HSV-1 & HSV-2, Epstein-Barr virus and varicella zoster virus are susceptible to this drug in vitro. It is an analog of the natural nucleoside 2-deoxy-guanosine and is a prodrug similar to the drug acyclovir. Ganciclovir is also called ganciclovir sodium and GA2, and it is marketed under the trade names Cytovene®, Cytovene IV®, Cytovene-IV® and Vitrasert®.

Mechanism of action

Like other nucleoside analogs, ganciclovir inhibits the binding and incorporation of the natural DNA nucleoside dATP by becoming incorporated into the viral DNA, leading to defective viral DNA. To become active, the prodrug must be phosphorylated thrice, first by thymidine kinase (TK), then by guanylate kinase, and once more by other cellular enzymes. The reliance on KT limits the pathogens that can be treated with ganciclovir. Because the drug does not contain the correct structure for additional phosphodiester bond formation, DNA synthesis is halted once ganciclovir is inserted into a growing DNA chain.


The IUPAC chemical name of ganciclovir is 2-amino-9-(1,3-dihydroxypropan-2-yloxymethyl)-3H-purin-6-one and it has molecular formula C9H13N5O4, yielding a molecular mass of 255.2306 g/mol. The active form of this drug is the triphosphorylated compound.

External links

The most up-to-date information about Ganciclovir and other drugs can be found at the following sites.


see external links