How is cytomegalovirus treated?

Cytomegalovirus typically resolves on its own and rarely requires treatment. However, your doctor might prescribe antiviral medications if you have a weakened immune system.

Antiviral medications used to treat cytomegalovirus

Antiviral medications used to treat cytomegalovirus include:

  • Cidofovir (Vistide)
  • Foscarnet (Foscavir)
  • Ganciclovir (Cytovene)
  • Valganciclovir (Valcyte)

What you can do to improve your cytomegalovirus symptoms

During your infection and recovery, there are things you can do to improve your symptoms including:

  • Gargling with salt water
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relief medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

What are the potential complications of cytomegalovirus?

Complications of cytomegalovirus are rare in healthy individuals and occur more commonly in people with weakened immune systems or in infants born with cytomegalovirus infection. Complications of cytomegalovirus include:

  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction
  • Developmental delays and failure to thrive
  • Encephalitis (inflammation and swelling of the brain due to a viral infection or other causes)
  • Esophagitis (inflammation and infection of the esophagus)
  • Gastroenteritis (inflammation and infection of the stomach and intestines)
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (autoimmune nerve disorder)
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Myocarditis (infection of the middle layer of the heart wall)
  • Pericarditis (infection of the lining that surrounds the heart)
  • Pneumonia
  • Retinitis (inflammation and infection of the retina of the eye)


  1. Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  2. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease: the congenital disease mothers don't know about. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. De Vlieger G, Meersseman W, Lagrou K, et al. Cytomegalovirus serostatus and outcome in nonimmunocompromised critically ill patients. Crit Care Med 2012; 40:36.
  4. Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed, Feigin RD, Cherry JD, Demmler-Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL (Eds), Saunders, Philadelphia 2009.
  5. Bope ET, Kellerman RD (Eds.) Conn’s Current Therapy.Philadelphia: Saunders, 2012.

What is cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus is a virus belonging to the herpesvirus family that commonly infects humans. Although cytomegalovirus infections are very common, most people who are otherwise healthy who have the infection do not feel sick or even notice the infection. In fact, the clinical course of cytomegalovirus infection usually hinges on the host: healthy, unhealthy, or immunocompromised. Some individ... Read more about cytomegalovirusintroduction


What are the symptoms of cytomegalovirus?

Most people who have a cytomegalovirus infection do not experience any symptoms at all, although you may develop symptoms such as fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, and swollen glands. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to have symptoms, which may be severe and can affect different orga... Read more about cytomegalovirussymptoms


What causes cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus is a member of the herpesvirus family. It is contagious and spreads from person to person, but most people never develop symptoms. It can be spread through all bodily fluids and can also spread from a pregnant mother to her baby.

What are the risk factors for cytomegalovirus?

A number of factors increase your risk of developing cytomegalovirus infection.... Read more about cytomegaloviruscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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