Information about Imatinib mesylate

Imatinib mesylate Uses

Imatinib mesylate is used in the treatment of blood cancer (chronic myeloid leukaemia), blood cancer (acute lymphocytic leukemia) and gastrointestinal stromal tumour.

How Imatinib mesylate works

Imatinib mesylate is an anti-cancer medication. A protein enzyme, bcr-abl tyrosine kinase, responsible for the growth of abnormal proliferation of cancer cells. This medicine inhibits the proliferation and induces apoptosis (planned cell death) in bcr-abl positive cells (cancer cells). This is how it works to stop or slow the spread of cancer.

Common side effects of Imatinib mesylate

Edema (swelling), Fatigue, Rash, Fever, Hair loss, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Joint pain, Muscle pain, Weight gain, Night sweats, Itching, Gastrointestinal toxicity, Blood cell abnormalities, Liver toxicity, Renal toxicity, Nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the throat and nasal passages), Upper respiratory tract infection
Written By
Reviewed By
MBA, MD Pharmacology
Last updated
21 Feb 2020 | 06:49 AM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Imatinib mesylate

VeenatNatco Pharma Ltd
708 to ₹19902 variant(s)
ImatBiochem Pharmaceutical Industries
616 to ₹22352 variant(s)
ImatibCipla Ltd
548 to ₹19062 variant(s)
ImanibIntas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
696 to ₹19932 variant(s)
ImalekSun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
1341 to ₹19502 variant(s)
ChemotinibNeon Laboratories Ltd
279 to ₹11282 variant(s)
ImateroHetero Drugs Ltd
19931 variant(s)
LupinibLupin Ltd
22351 variant(s)
GlivecNovartis India Ltd
696 to ₹22352 variant(s)

Expert advice for Imatinib mesylate

  • Always take it with food and a full glass of water to prevent nausea.
  • It may cause dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Water retention and swelling are very common side effects of Imatinib mesylate. Notify your doctor if you have unexpected rapid weight gain.
  • Do not change the dose or discontinue use without consulting your doctor.
  • Notify your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over the counter medicines and dietary supplements.
  • Your doctor may get regular blood tests done to monitor your liver function and the number of blood cells in your blood.

Frequently asked questions for Imatinib mesylate

Imatinib mesylate

Q. Can Imatinib mesylate be taken with food?

Yes, the best way to take it is with food and a glass of water. This prevents irritation in the food pipe and stomach. If you cannot swallow it, put the tablets in a glass of water or apple juice (approximately 50 ml for a 100 mg tablet and 200 ml for a 400 mg tablet). Stir it with a spoon to make it uniform and drink it immediately.

Q. Is it safe to drive while taking Imatinib mesylate?

Imatinib mesylate may cause dizziness, lightheadedness or drowsiness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to it before you drive a car or operate machinery.

Q. Ever since I started using Imatinib mesylate, I have noticed that I develop rashes and severe itching when I have sun exposure. Is it because of the medicine or the disease?

This medicine may make your skin much more sensitive to sunlight than it normally is. Exposure to sunlight may cause skin rash, itching, redness or severe sunburn. When you are outdoors, wear protective clothing and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you feel a burning sensation on your skin, tell your doctor.

Q. What precautions need to be followed while taking Imatinib mesylate?

While taking Imatinib mesylate, make sure you follow all the instructions given by your doctor, carefully and keep all appointments. You will need regular follow-up to ensure that the treatment is working. Regular blood tests, weight checks, and urine tests may be required to find out any side effects before it becomes serious. Make sure you use a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy during treatment with Imatinib mesylate. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while you are taking this medicine. If you are about to start taking any new medicine, remind your doctor that you are taking Imatinib mesylate.

Q. The doctor has advised me not to take any medicine on my own while taking Imatinib mesylate. Should I consult my doctor even if I need to take paracetamol for my fever?

Yes, there are a number of medicines which interfere with Imatinib mesylate, including paracetamol. Therefore, you should not self medicate while taking Imatinib mesylate. Other medicines which interfere with Imatinib mesylate include cyclosporin, dexamethasone (a steroid), warfarin, antiviral medicines which treat AIDS. Some medicines which treat bacterial infections, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart problems, and mental disorders and depression can also affect the working of Imatinib mesylate. Consult your doctor before taking any medicine, and inform him that you are on Imatinib mesylate therapy.

Q. Can I expect that if I take Imatinib mesylate regularly and as advised by the doctor for chronic myeloid leukemia, I will be cured?

Imatinib mesylate has proved effective in many cases of CML. It is also noticed that the chances of survival increase after taking this medicine. Consult your doctor to know how effective this medicine is for you. Your doctor will inform you after analyzing your current state, blood test results, response to treatment, any other medical illness which you may be having.


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