Imatinib

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Imatinib


Generic Name: Imatinib (ih-mat-IN-ibb)
Brand Name: Gleevec

Imatinib is used for:

Treating a certain type of leukemia (chronic myeloid leukemia or CML) and certain intestinal tumors (gastrointestinal stromal tumors or GISTs).

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

Do NOT use Imatinib if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Imatinib

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

Before using Imatinib :

Some medical conditions may interact with Imatinib . 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, kidney, heart, or lung problems, or other cancers
  • if you have bone marrow problems, low white blood cell counts, or low blood platelets

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

  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, corticosteroids (eg, dexamethasone), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), rifampin, or St. John"s wort because the effectiveness of Imatinib may be decreased
  • Imidazoles (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole), ketolides (eg, telithromycin), or macrolides (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin) because side effects of Imatinib may be increased
  • Blood thinners (eg, warfarin) because side effects, including risk of bleeding, may be increased by Imatinib
  • Acetaminophen, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), calcium channel blockers (eg, nifedipine), cyclosporine, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin), or pimozide because side effects may be increased by Imatinib

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Imatinib 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 Imatinib :

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

  • Take Imatinib with a meal and a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets whole, you may dissolve your dose in a glass of water or apple juice. The amount of liquid will vary depending on your dose; consult your doctor or pharmacist for more detailed instructions. Stir the mixture well and drink immediately.
  • If you miss a dose of Imatinib , 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 Imatinib .

Important safety information:

  • Imatinib may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Imatinib . Using Imatinib alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Imatinib .
  • Imatinib may lower your body"s ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Imatinib .
  • Check your weight every morning and keep a log. Report any 3 to 5 pound weight gain to your doctor.
  • If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, contact your doctor about appropriate measures to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • LAB TESTS, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Imatinib with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 3 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Imatinib may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking Imatinib . If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Imatinib during pregnancy. It is unknown if Imatinib is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Imatinib .

Possible side effects of Imatinib :

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:

Constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; increased tearing; indigestion; loss of appetite; muscle cramps; nausea; night sweats; nose and throat irritation; nosebleed; sleeplessness; tiredness; 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 or bloody stools; blisters in/around the eyes, nose, or mouth; blistered, peeling, reddened, scaling, or swollen skin; chills, fever, or sore throat; confusion; dark urine; decrease in the amount of urine produced; easy bruising or bleeding; joint or muscle pain; one-sided weakness; persistent sore throat; severe headache; severe tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; slurred speech; stomach pain; sudden unusual weight gain; swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or around the eyes; 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 or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or 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/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Imatinib :

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Imatinib , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Imatinib 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 Imatinib . 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.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition 06.4.1.002
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.




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