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Jan 3, 2023



Things To Know About Imatinib

What is Imatinib?

Imatinib is a generic prescription medication for Gleevec, which is an antineoplastic (a drug that’s used to treat cancer) medication that is a part of a drug class known as BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

What is a BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor?

The Philadelphia Chromosome
  • The Philadelphia chromosome is a genetic defect and generated when chromosome 9 and chromosome 22 exchange portions.
  • The Philadelphia chromosome produces BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (enzyme).
  • BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase causes chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
  • Imatinib is a BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor and used to block the activity of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase.

BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to prevent the activity of this particular enzyme, which is necessary for the development of a serious medical condition called chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

The Philadelphia chromosome, a single genetic defect, is the cause of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which generally occurs in approximately 95% of individuals with CML.

The translocation that results in the formation of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome (translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22) leads to the development of the BCR-ABL fusion gene. The BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase is produced by the BCR-ABL gene. In chronic myelogenous leukemia, BCR-ABL-positive cells proliferate more and are more resistant to cell death.

Therefore, in order to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors are administered.

What is Imatinib used for?

  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
  • Chronic eosinophilic leukemia
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
  • Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • Systemic mastocytosis

How is Imatinib administered?

The recommended dosage of Imatinib is to be taken by mouth together with a meal and a sizable glass of water.

100 mg, 400 mg, or 600 mg of a dose should be taken once daily, whereas the dosage for an 800 mg dose is administered as 2 doses of 400 mg per day.

  • The dose of Imatinib is determined by your specific medical condition and/or history, response to therapy, and/or any additional medications you may be taking.
  • Although the ideal course of treatment is unknown, Imatinib should generally be continued for 6 to 9 months, after which further cancer cell reduction is typically minimal.

The tablet form of this medication may be dissolved in a glass of water (8 ounces) or apple juice for individuals who are unable to swallow the film-coated tablets.

  • Approximately 50 mL for a 100 mg tablet and 200 mL for a 400 mg tablet should be added to the appropriate amount of beverage, followed by the prescribed tablet(s), and stirred with a spoon.
  • After the tablet has completely broken down/dissolved, the suspension needs to be given right away.

What are the side effects of Imatinib?

  • Myelosuppression (decreased bone marrow activity)
  • Fatigue, tiredness, and/or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Discomfort in your muscles and/or joints
  • Swelling
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Flu-like symptoms, including a sore throat, fever, chills, and/or other signs of an infection

While taking this medication, avoid eating and/or drinking grapefruit unless your doctor or pharmacist suggests it's safe to do so. The likelihood of this medication's side effects can be increased by grapefruit.

What other medications can interact with Imatinib?

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it's almost time for your next dose. In this case, skip the forgotten dose and take the next one at the usual time. Do not take 2 doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Speak With Your Doctor

Imatinib is relatively considered a safe and effective medication when taken appropriately (as prescribed by your doctor). Talk to your doctor today about using Imatinib and send your prescription to Marley Drug. Save up to 95% compared to your local pharmacy by using Marley Drug.