Brand Names: Gleevec
Generic Name: imatinib (Pronunciation: im MA ta nib)
- What is imatinib (Gleevec)?
- What are the possible side effects of imatinib (Gleevec)?
- What is the most important information I should know about imatinib (Gleevec)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking imatinib (Gleevec)?
- How should I take imatinib (Gleevec)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Gleevec)?
- What happens if I overdose (Gleevec)?
- What should I avoid while taking imatinib (Gleevec)?
- What other drugs will affect imatinib (Gleevec)?
- Where can I get more information?
What is imatinib (Gleevec)?
Imatinib interferes with the growth of some cancer cells.
Imatinib is used to treat a certain types of leukemia (blood cancer) such as Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). It is also used to treat certain tumors of the stomach and digestive system.
Imatinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Gleevec 100 mg
round, orange, imprinted with NVR, SA
Gleevec 400 mg
oval, orange, imprinted with 400, SL SL
What are the possible side effects of imatinib (Gleevec)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: 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, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion);
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- lower back pain, blood in your urine;
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
- muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
- fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath, confusion, fainting; or
- severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea;
- muscle cramps;
- joint or muscle pain;
- headache, feeling tired; or
- stuffy nose, sinus pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about imatinib (Gleevec)?
Do not use imatinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, underactive thyroid, 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.
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. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next meal. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking imatinib (Gleevec)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to imatinib.
To make sure you can safely take imatinib, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- underactive thyroid, recent or upcoming thyroid surgery;
- heart disease, congestive heart failure;
- history of stomach ulcer or bleeding; or
- if you are receiving chemotherapy.
It is not known whether imatinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Imatinib can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.
Do not give this medication to anyone under 2 years old without medical advice.
How should I take imatinib (Gleevec)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take this medicine with a large glass of water.
You may dissolve the imatinib tablet in water or apple juice to make swallowing easier.
Imatinib should be taken with a meal. Do not take imatinib on an empty stomach.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your weight and liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose (Gleevec)?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, making sure you also eat a meal and drink a large glass of water. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next meal. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose (Gleevec)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause severe muscle cramps.
What should I avoid while taking imatinib (Gleevec)?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
What other drugs will affect imatinib (Gleevec)?
Many drugs can interact with or be affected by imatinib. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
- bosentan (Tracleer);
- conivaptan (Vaprisol);
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
- dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak);
- digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
- fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora);
- isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
- pimozide (Orap);
- sirolimus (Rapamune) or tacrolimus (Prograf);
- St. John's wort;
- theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl);
- an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), rifapentine (Priftin), or telithromycin (Ketex);
- antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or miconazole (Oravig);
- a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
- cholesterol-lowering medicines such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin);
- ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray);
- heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
- a heart rhythm medication such as disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), or quinidine (Quin-G);
- HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);
- medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafinil (Nuvigil) or modafinil (Progivil); or
- seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), divalproex (Depakote), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with imatinib. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about imatinib.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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