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Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs reference index «Gleevec»



Generic Name: Imatinib (i-MA-tin-ib)Brand Name: Gleevec

Gleevec is used for:

Treating certain types of leukemia (eg, chronic myeloid leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia [CML]), bone marrow diseases, certain types of skin cancer, and certain intestinal tumors (eg, gastrointestinal stromal tumors [GIST]). It may also be used to prevent cancer from growing in patients after surgical removal of GIST. It is also used to treat mastocytosis (a buildup of large amounts of mast cells in certain parts of the body). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Gleevec is a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It works by preventing the growth of cancer cells.

Do NOT use Gleevec if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Gleevec
  • you take warfarin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Gleevec :

Some medical conditions may interact with Gleevec . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, heart problems, or lung problems
  • if you have had your thyroid gland removed
  • if you have bone marrow problems, low white blood cell levels, or low blood platelet levels
  • if you have a history of swelling (edema) or fluid retention
  • if you are or will be taking an iron supplement

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Gleevec . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Warfarin because side effects, including the risk of bleeding, may be increased
  • Azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole), ketolide antibiotics (eg, telithromycin), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, or protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir) because they may increase the risk of Gleevec 's side effects
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, dexamethasone, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), rifampin, or St. John's wort because they may decrease Gleevec 's effectiveness
  • Acetaminophen, alfentanil, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), calcium channel blockers (eg, nifedipine), cyclosporine, ergot derivatives (eg, ergotamine), fentanyl, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin), pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, or tacrolimus because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Gleevec
  • Levothyroxine because its effectiveness may be decreased by Gleevec

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Gleevec may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Gleevec :

Use Gleevec as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Gleevec by mouth with a meal and a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets whole, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You may dissolve your dose in a glass of water or apple juice. The amount of liquid will vary depending on your dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. Stir the mixture well and drink immediately.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use Gleevec .
  • Take Gleevec on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Gleevec at the same time each day will help you to remember to take it.
  • If you miss a dose of Gleevec , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Gleevec .

Important safety information:

  • Gleevec may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Gleevec with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Gleevec before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Gleevec may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Gleevec may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking Gleevec . Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Check your weight every morning and keep a log. Report any 3- to 5-pound weight gain to your doctor.
  • Gleevec may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Gleevec . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions.
  • If you may become pregnant, you must use an effective form of birth control while you take Gleevec . If you have questions about effective birth control, talk with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Gleevec . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Gleevec with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially swelling and fluid retention.
  • Gleevec should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Gleevec may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Gleevec while you are pregnant. Gleevec is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Gleevec .

Possible side effects of Gleevec :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; bone pain; constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; hair loss; headache; increased tear production; loss of appetite; muscle cramps; muscle or joint pain; nausea; night sweats; nose and throat irritation; stomach pain or upset; taste changes; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, bloody, or tarry stools; bone pain; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; chills, fever, or sore throat; confusion; dark urine; depression; fast or irregular heartbeat; mouth pain, sores, or swelling; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent headache; severe stomach pain; severe tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; slurred speech; sudden, unusual weight gain; swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or around the eyes; trouble swallowing or talking; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; fever; headache; loss of appetite; muscle pain or spasms; nausea; stomach pain; swelling; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting.

Proper storage of Gleevec :

Store Gleevec at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Gleevec out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Gleevec , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Gleevec is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Gleevec . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Gleevec Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Gleevec Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Gleevec Consumer Overview
  • Imatinib Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

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