What is Gleevec (Imatinib Mesylate)?

  • Gleevec is an anticancer drug used in chemotherapy of certain types of cancer.
  • The active ingredient of Gleevec is “Imatinib” which is available in tablet form in two strengths (100mg, 400mg) for oral administration.
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 Uses of Gleevec:

  • Treatment of Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
  • Accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
  • Myelodysplastic/Myeloplastic disease
  • Metastatic or malignant Gastrointestinal stromal tumours
Also Read: Fosamax Uses

How does Gleevec work?

Gleevec contains Imatinib which is a protein tyrase kinase inhibitor. It inhibits cell proliferation and induces cell apoptosis in cancer cells thereby inhibiting the spred of cancer.

Gleevec Price in India:

Specifics  Gleevec Price
Gleevac 400mg Bottle of 30 Tablets Rs. 6719.58
Gleevac 100mg Bottle of 60 Tablets Rs. 5927.25

How to Take Gleevec?

  • Gleevec should be administered along with food in the dose prescribed by the doctor.
  • Tablet should be swallowed as a whole without breaking or chewing it along with plenty of plain water.
  • For patients who are unable to swallow the tablet, the tablet may be dispersed in glass of water or apple juice and should be administered as soon as tablet disintegrates completely.

Common Dosage for Gleevec:

  • The recommended dose of Gleevec in adult patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia is 400mg/day whereas for patients with accelerated phase or blast crisis is 600mg/day.
  • Dose of 400mg and 600mg should be administered as single daily dose whereas dose of 800mg per day can be administered as 400mg tablets twice daily.
  • In patients with hepatic involvement, dose reduction should be done with a starting dose of 300mg/day in severe involvement.
  • Treatment may be continued as long as there is no evidence of progressive disease or severe toxicity.
Also Read: Gamma Benzene Hexachloride Dosage

When to avoid Gleevec and precautions to take?

Gleevec should not be used or should be used with caution when:

  • Allergic to any of its components
  • Patients with liver and kidney disease
  • Pregnant and lactating females
  • Patients with heart problems
Also Read: Ifosfamide Precaution | Fosamax Precaution

Side effects of Gleevec?

  • Gleevec may produce multiple side effects, although they may not be common in all the patients. Commonly observed side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Increased weight
  • Gastrointestinal bleeds
  • Pancytopenia (decreased RBC, WBC and Platelet count)
  • Muscle cramps and muscle pains
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Rash
Also Read: Dolopar Side EffectsFarxiga Side Effects 

Effects on organs?

  • Gleevec should not be administered in patients with severe liver disorders.
  • Gleevec is associated with Gastro intestinal irritation, perforation and bleeding. To minimise this problem, it should be administered with food and plenty of water.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Allergy with Gleevec may exhibit following symptoms:
  • Rash
  • Chest tightness
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • Drug interactions refer to effect of drugs on each other and on human body following ingestion. Large numbers of medicine have shown interaction with each other.

Consult your doctor before administering any other drugs concomitantly with Gleevec. All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important ones include:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Itraconazole
  • Erythromycin
  • Phenytoin
  • Rifampicin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Warfarin

Shows Effects / Results In:

The time required by Gleevec to show its desired effect varies from person to person and depends on the clinical situation.

Storage Requirements About Gleevec

  • Storage at room temperature away from direct heat and light.
  • Keep medicines away from children and pets.

Pro Tips When Taking Gleevec:

  • Patients on Gleevec should be regularly monitored for unexpected rapid weight gain as Gleevec is associated with oedema and fluid retention.
  • Patients with long term use of Gleevec are associated with increased rate of opportunistic infections.

FAQs – Things to Know About Gleevec

Is Gleevec addictive?

No such tendency has been reported.

Can I have Gleevec with alcohol?

Interaction of Gleevec with alcohol is unknown. But it may increase the incidence of hepatic (liver) damage when administered concomitantly.

 Any particular food item to be avoided?

No interaction with any food product observed.

Can I have Gleevec when Pregnant?

Gleevec is contraindicated in pregnant women.

 Can I have Gleevec when feeding a baby?

Women should be advised not to administer Gleevec while lactating.

Can I drive after taking Gleevec?

Gleevec does not usually affect your ability to drive.

 What happens if I overdose on Gleevec?

  • It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose or frequency.
  • In cases of over dosage, observe the patient and supportive therapy is administered.

What happens if I eat expired Gleevec?

The medicine may not work as well as the potency of the medicines decreases and also it may lead to some adverse effects.

What happens if I miss a dose of Gleevec?

  • The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
  • Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember. But, if it is already time for the next dose – do not double the dose.

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