Gleevec (Imatinib) Medication


Gleevec (Imatinib)

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Table of contents:

Drug Description


Gleevec is a targeted therapy cancer treatment prescribed to treat certain forms of leukemia (blood cancer), bone marrow disorders, skin cancers, and particular tumors found in the stomach and digestive system. 

Gleevec belongs to a class of drugs known as kinase inhibitors. Its mechanism of action involves inhibiting the activity of an abnormal protein that prompts cancer cells to proliferate, thereby preventing the spread of cancer cells. 

Listed below are the specific conditions that can be treated with Gleevec: 

  • Chronic Myeloid (myelogenous) Leukemia (Ph+ CML) 
  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) 
  • Myelodysplastic / Myeloproliferative Diseases (MDS/MPD) 
  • Aggressive Systemic Mastocytosis (ASM) 
  • Hypereosinophilic Syndrome (HES) and/or Chronic Eosinophilic Leukemia (CEL) 
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) 
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) 

Uses and Dosage 

Before starting treatment with Gleevec and with each refill, carefully review its patient information leaflet and medication guide. Seek guidance from your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions or clarifications. 

Gleevec dosage may vary per individual based on their medical condition, other medications being taken, and response to the treatment. Dosage adjustments by your doctor may occur during treatment to optimize efficacy and minimize side effects. 

Typically, Gleevec is taken twice daily with a meal and a large glass of water, as prescribed by the doctor. The tablet must be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or chewed.  

Do not take a broken tablet, as it can pose hazards if it gets into the mouth, eyes, nose, or skin. If exposure occurs, wash the affected area with water or soap and seek advice from a pharmacist on how to dispose of the broken pill safely. 

If swallowing Gleevec tablets is not feasible, you may dissolve the necessary dose in a glass of water or apple juice. For a 100mg tablet, 50 milliliters (approximately 2 ounces) of liquid is recommended, while a 400mg tablet requires 200 milliliters (about 7 ounces). Thoroughly stir the mixture until the tablets dissolve and consume the solution promptly. 

As per physician instructions, a dosage of 800mg of Gleevec should be consumed via two 400mg tablets and not through eight 100mg tablets, as the iron content of the tablet coating can lead to excessive iron consumption. 

Take Gleevec exactly how it is prescribed. Refrain from taking more or less of it or taking it more frequently than instructed by your doctor. 

To maximize the efficacy of Gleevec, take it at the same time(s) daily, and continue intake even if you feel well. Consult with your doctor before discontinuing treatment. 

Side Effects 

Potential side effects associated with the use of Gleevec are listed below. If any of them last or worsen, promptly inform your physician or pharmacist. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset, diarrhea, and gas 
  • Headache 
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms such as muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps 
  • General symptoms such as feeling tired, dizziness, blurred vision, and drowsiness 
  • Skin rash 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Upper respiratory symptoms such as stuffy nose or sinus pain 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Severe blistering skin rashes 
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) 
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding 
  • Weakness accompanied by shortness of breath 
  • Severe headaches 
  • Swelling  
  • Severe flu-like symptoms 
  • Easy bruising or bleeding 
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat 
  • Extreme tiredness 
  • Sudden or unexplained weight gain 
  • Black or bloody stools 
  • Dark urine 
  • Vomit that resembles coffee grounds 

Call your doctor immediately if any of the severe symptoms above are experienced. 

Allergic Reactions 

Though rare, a severe allergic reaction to Gleevec may occur. Seek prompt medical attention if any of the following symptom’s manifest: 

  • Hives 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Swelling in the face or throat 

Severe skin reactions may also occur, with symptoms such as:  

  • Fever 
  • Sore throat 
  • Burning in the eyes 
  • Skin pain 
  • Red or purple rash that spreads and leads to blistering and peeling 

The adverse effects of Gleevec listed here are not exhaustive. Notify your physician immediately if any unmentioned side effects occur and cause discomfort. 


Before taking Gleevec, inform your doctor and pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including allergies to imatinib, other medications, or any of the constituents present in Gleevec. 

Request a list of the ingredients from your pharmacist to ensure you are aware of all ingredients present in this medication. 

To ensure Gleevec is safe for you, disclose your complete medical history to your physician or pharmacist, especially of: 

  • Bleeding disorders 
  • Heart conditions like heart failure 
  • Kidney or liver disease 
  • Surgical removal of the thyroid gland 

Gleevec has the potential to inhibit the elimination of certain medications from your system, leading to potential changes in their efficacy. Examples of affected drugs are: 

  • Flibanserin 
  • Irinotecan 
  • Lomitapide 
  • Warfarin  

To avoid such drug interactions, inform both your doctor and pharmacist of any current or anticipated usage of prescription or non-prescription medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, and herbal products before initiating treatment with Gleevec. 

The use of Gleevec may potentially weaken your immune system, increasing your susceptibility to severe infections or exacerbating existing ones. Promptly inform your physician if you experience any indications of infection, such as persistent sore throat, fever, or chills. 

Notify your healthcare provider that you are taking Gleevec before receiving any vaccinations and refrain from contact with individuals who have recently had live vaccines, including inhaled flu vaccines. 

Gleevec may lead to blurred vision and impaired reactions. Refrain from driving or engaging in risky activities until the effects of the medication are known.  

Regularly check your child’s height with the doctor as Gleevec may potentially inhibit their growth; its effect on final adult height is unknown. 

Due to the possibility of Gleevec being absorbed through the skin and lungs and causing harm to a fetus, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid handling the medication or inhaling dust from the tablets. 

Gleevec should not be used during pregnancy as it may cause fetal harm. Inform your doctor of your pregnancy status and undergo a pregnancy test before beginning treatment with this medication. 

Consult your physician about suitable birth control methods during the treatment and up to two weeks after the final dose of Gleevec. Notify your doctor immediately if you conceive while using this medication. 

Due to the likelihood of severe adverse reactions in breastfed infants, nursing mothers should abstain from breastfeeding during Gleevec treatment and for one month after the final dose, as both imatinib and its active metabolite are excreted in human milk. 

Additional information

Generic name:





100mg, 400mg

Quantities Available:

30, 90, 120

Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Gleevec (Imatinib). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Gleevec (Imatinib).