Gleevec is associated with a number of Warnings
and Precautions which require medical supervision throughout the treatment. Severe fluid retention
has occurred in certain cancer patients. When Gleevec is combined with certain chemotherapy drugs liver
toxicity and liver failure can also occur. Monitoring of liver function is recommended during the
Clinical cases of
hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone) have been reported in a specific group
of patients during treatment with Gleevec. If you have thyroid problem, it is very important that you talk to
your oncologist before taking this medication.
Indications: Children and adults who are battling certain types of
leukemia and cancer such as gastrointestinal stromal tumors, chronic myeloid leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome
positive, relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and
myelodysplastic/myelodyproliferative diseases are prescribed this drug. Imatinib is a kinase inhibitor and stops the proteins found in cancer cells
from giving the cells the nourishment they need to grow. While
protein is found in all human cells, it is found in greater numbers in cancer cells and is one of the factors
that lead to cancer cells being able to multiply faster than normal cells. Medical study shows that this drug actually helps slow down and destroy cancer
The side effects for
this drug include headaches, vomiting, loss of appetite, swelling of arms and legs, nausea, diarrhea, muscular
pain, itchiness, fluid retention, dizziness, and even a rash. More
serious side effects include loss of platelets, lower counts in white or red blood cells, bleeding in the
intestines/stomach/brain, fluid in the lungs, infections, reduced liver functioning, and heart
failure. If you are experiencing fever, persistent sore throat, or
other signs of an infection, call your doctor immediately.
Imatinib comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth
Most patients on the medication take it as a tablet and the dosage can range between 300mg and 800 mg, depending on
the disease or cancer being treated. If you have problems with
swallowing, you can put the tablet into juice or water so that it can dissolve. This drug should always be taken with food or water and it is important to read
all of the directions that come with the prescription.
The dosage you
are recommended to take varies depending on your body surface area (BSA), general state of your
health, whether you are taking other drugs or not, and the type of cancer being treated. Regardless of dosage
indicated, it is necessary to take the medication as prescribed by your health care
storeImatinib at room
temperature (15-25 ° C), away from heat above 40 ° C, light and moisture. Keep the medication out of the reach of children. Imatinib and other drugs should not be used
beyond the expiration date printed on the container.
Imatinib overdose can
cause life threatening problems. Chemotherapy drugs including Imatinib 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 Imatinib overdose, contact your doctor or the poison control center nearest you immediately.
Imatinib 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 dose,
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 Imatinib
but also any other drug.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Imatinib is an anticancer drug belongs
to the family of tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
It works by preventing the development, and selectively inducing cancer cell death.
If you are taking Imatinib, you need to avoid drinking grapefruit
juice as it can increase the level of side effects that you experience. Your doctor should have a complete listing of all herbs, prescription drugs,
and non-prescription drugs that you are taking. Some drugs are
known to interfere with this drug’s effectiveness on cancer cells and patients have experienced blood
concentration drops or rises. Drugs that are known to affect this
drug include St. John’s Wort, Zocor, Phenobarbital, Viracept, Primidone, Norvir, Crixivan, Sporanox, Reyataz,
can hurt fetuses so it is important to notify your doctor if you are pregnant or intending to become
pregnant. Nursing mothers should also not use this drug as it can
be passed to the baby through breast milk. Your doctor should be
made aware to any previous health conditions such as bleeding problems, heart problems, kidney issues, and liver
Side effects: while attacking cancer
cells,Imatinib also affects
healthy cells, which lead to development of adverse effects in most patients; most
common Imatinib side effects
muscle cramps and pain
nausea and vomiting
drying or darkening of the skin or nails
indigestion, constipation and
You need to
see a medical spcialist as soon as you can if you develop any of these adverse reactions:
shortness of breath
blood in the stool
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
skin problems such as rash or blisters