Trade/other name(s): Gleevec, Glivec, STI 571, STI-571, imatinib mesylate
Why would this drug be used?
This drug is used to treat some types of leukemia, especially chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and certain types of adult acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). It is also used for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). It is used to treat a number of other cancers and non-cancerous conditions as well.
What Gleevec is used for:
- Newly diagnosed adult and pediatric patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase.
- Ph+ CML in blast crisis, accelerated phase, or chronic phase after failure of interferon-alpha therapy.
- Adult patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome + acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL).
- Adult patients with myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) associated with PDGFR gene rearrangements.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors that are C-kit positive.
How does this drug work?
Imatinib is a type of targeted therapy known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Its targets include tyrosine kinase proteins. These abnormal proteins are found at the surface of certain cancer cells. They send constant signals telling the cells to divide and stay alive. By blocking these signals, imatinib can stop the cells from growing and cause them to die.
Important information about Imatib (Imatinib)
Do not use Imatib (Imatinib) without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Before using Imatib (Imatinib), tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding or if you are receiving chemotherapy.
Take this medicine with a large glass of water. Imatib (Imatinib) should be taken with a meal. Do not take the medicine on an empty stomach.
If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember, making sure you also eat a meal and drink a large glass of water. If it is almost time for your next meal, skip the missed dose and take the medicine when you eat your next meal. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
To be sure Imatib (Imatinib) is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Before taking Imatib (Imatinib)
Do not use Imatib (Imatinib) if you are allergic to imatinib.If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Imatib (Imatinib) :
Congestive heart failure;
A history of stomach ulcer or bleeding; or
If you are receiving chemotherapy.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Imatib (Imatinib).
How should I take Imatib (Imatinib)?
Take Imatib (Imatinib) exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take this medicine with a large glass of water. Imatib (Imatinib) should be taken with a meal.
To be sure Imatib (Imatinib) is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Store Imatib (Imatinib) at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include severe muscle cramps.
Imatib (Imatinib) Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Imatib (Imatinib): hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects :
Fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
Nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
Black, bloody, or tarry stools;
Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
Pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
Feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
Swelling, rapid weight gain;
Urinating more or less than usual, or not at all; or
Sudden, severe headache or pain behind the eyes.
Seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) or phenytoin (Dilantin).