Warning: Serious side effects of Gleevec are rare but should receive
immediate and appropriate treatment as complications can occur. This
includes stomach or intestinal bleeding, heart failure, reduced liver function and fluid in the lungs. You may also experience fever associate with a lower white blood cell count,
reduced platelets and red blood cell counts. Some of the more
common side effects include headache, diarrhea, weakness, nausea, loss of appetite, rash, itching, fever,
dizziness and swelling of the arms and legs. This is not a full
list of side effects so be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist for a more detailed list of side
Indications: This drug treats adult and pediatric patients who have
been diagnosed with certain cancers such as chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+CML); adults with myeloproliferative or
myelodysplastic diseases, mastocytosis, hypereosinophillic syndrome, chronic eosinophillic luekemia,
gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans that has spread to other parts of the body,
or has come back after surgery.
Gleevec comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth. The dosage is determined by your doctor but the general
recommendation is 300-800 mg daily taken orally and depending on the cancer being treated. Take the dosage with
food and a glass of water. If you have been prescribed an 800 mg daily
dose, it should be taken as 400 mg twice daily to avoid an overdose of iron. This pill can also be dissolved in apple juice or water for people who have
difficulty swallowing pills. Do not dissolve in grapefruit juice because it may reduce the breakdown of this
medication by the liver.
should be taken by mouth with meals with a full glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole without chewing
likely that you experience side effects during the treatment; do not stop or modify the way you are told to take
the medication. Most patients develop side effects when and after a treatment with Gleevec.
Storage: store Gleevec at room temperature
(15-25 ° C), away from heat above 40 ° C, light and moisture. Keep the medication out of the reach of children. Gleevec and other drugs should not be used beyond
the expiration date printed on the container.
Overdose: Gleevec overdose can cause life
threatening problems. Chemotherapy drugs including Gleevec tend to damage the bone marrow, and lead to a
decrease in white blood cells and platelets, which can cause serious infections in some patients. If you take a
Gleevec overdose, contact your doctor or the poison control center nearest you immediately.
take Gleevec and all
medications as prescribed.
In case you forget to
take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next
do not double the next dose to recover the missing; it can be dangerous. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to
your regular schedule. This applies not only to Gleevec
but also any other drug.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Gleevec is an anticancer drug belongs
to the family of tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
It works by preventing the development, and selectively inducing cancer cell death.
There are certain drugs that may reduce the liver break down of this medication. Tell your doctor if you are
taking medications such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, clarithromycin, atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir,
ritonavir, saquinavir and others. Other medications may
decrease the blood concentrations of Gleevec and could result in decreased blood levels and reduced effect of
the drug. These include carbamazepine, phenobarbital, rifampin,
phenytoin, fosphenytoin, primidone and St. John’s Wort. Tell your doctor all of the medications you are taking
to prevent drug interactions.
Contraindications: Gleevec should not be taken by women her are pregnant or
planning to become pregnant. This drug is harmful to a fetus. Talk to your doctor about birth control options.
It is not clear whether this drug can be excreted in human milk so nursing mothers should consult their doctor
before taking this medication while breast feeding. Be sure to tell
your doctor if you have any allergies to certain medications. If
you experience any swelling of the face, tongue or throat while taking this medication, you may be experiencing
an allergic reaction and should see a doctor immediately.
Side effects: Gleevec also affects
healthy cells when it attacks cancer cells. This causes the development of the following
muscle cramps and pain
nausea and vomiting
drying or darkening of the skin or nails
oncologist or a health care provider if you experience severe adverse reactions such as:
shortness of breath
blood in the stool
skin problems such as rash or blisters
severe depression symptoms
yellowing of the skin or eyes
swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
fast or irregular heartbeat
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
persistent coughing associated with bloody mucus
urgent need to urinate, especially at night
unusual bruising or bleeding
Excessive tiredness or weakness
sudden low or high blood pressure