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Imatinib

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
BCR-ABL Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Glivec® Cancer-related

Imatinib - What is it for

Imatinib is a targeted medication used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Imatinib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Imatinib cause?

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea or stomach discomfort
  • Mild to moderate headache
  • Rash
    Avoid prolonged sun exposure, cover up with clothing or use sunscreen.
  • Muscle cramps or pain, joint pain
  • Mild swelling due to fluid retention
  • Decreased red and white blood cells, platelets
  • Tiredness or lack or energy

Inform your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Fever of 38°C or higher
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath
  • Sudden weight gain or severe swelling around eyes or of feet due to fluid retention
  • Yellowing of eye whites or skin, dark tea-colored urine
  • Severe rashes

Before taking Imatinib, what precautions must I follow?

  • Use effective birth control during treatment and for 2 weeks after stopping Imatinib. Inform your doctor if you or your partner plan for or suspect pregnancy.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you:
    • Have any other medical conditions e.g. heart problems
    • Are taking any other medication (including over-the-counter ones), herbal products or supplements e.g. paracetamol, iron supplements.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Imatinib?

  • Grapefruit and it juice
  • St John's Wort

Imatinib - Dosage and How to Use

How should Imatinib be used?

It is a tablet taken by mouth, after food and with a large glass of water. Take the exact number of tablets and follow the dosing schedule instructed by your doctor.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Imatinib, take it as soon as you can. However if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your usual dosing times. Do not double dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

If you overdose on this medication, inform your doctor immediately.

Imatinib - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Imatinib safely?

How should I store Imatinib?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Imatinib safely?

Imatinib - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, March 5, 2019
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy National Cancer Centre Singapore

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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