This medication is used to treat certain types of cancer (such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases). It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
How to use imatinib
Take this medication by mouth with a meal and a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. Do not crush the tablets. If you have trouble swallowing the tablets whole, you may dissolve the tablets in a glass of water or apple juice. The amount of liquid will depend on your dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more detailed instructions. Stir the mixture well until the tablet(s) dissolve, and drink right away.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). For children, the dosage is also based on their body size.
Upset stomach, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle/joint pain, muscle cramps, dizziness, blurred vision, or drowsiness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk
Before taking imatinib, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding problems, heart problems (such as heart failure), kidney disease, liver disease, removal of thyroid gland.