by Team Onco

Drug Name: Imatinib mesylate

Drug Class: It is a targeted therapy drug

Available under the brand name: Gleevec

What Is It Prescribed For?

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; is a type of white blood cell cancer that begins in the bone marrow)
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; is a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells)
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (tumours in any part of the digestive system)
  • Hypereosinophilic syndrome (a blood disorder that occurs due to large numbers of white blood cells)
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (tumours that develop in the top layer of the skin)
  • Systemic mastocytosis (a rare disorder where abnormal mast cells are produced in the body)
  • Myelodysplastic or myeloproliferative diseases (group of diseases where bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells)

How Is It Given?

It is available in tablet/capsule form and is taken by mouth once or twice a day. It should be taken with food at around the same time every day.

What Are Common Side Effects?

You may face some of these side effects. 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling around the eyes, ankles, feet, and legs 
  • Muscle pain
  • Fluid retention
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood cell count
  • Rashes, itching, and redness of the skin
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain

Your doctor can prescribe medication to control these side effects. Imatinib also causes other side effects. If you face any unusual or serious problems, inform your doctor immediately.

Who Should Avoid Taking This Drug?


How Much Does This Drug Cost?

Available in 100mg and 400mg. Depending on the brand, the cost of Imatinib 100mg can range between INR 400 – INR 1000 per strip of 10 tablets/capsules.

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