Gleevec is used to treat a blood cancer cell called Philadephia Chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia. It can also be used to treat specific types of tumors of the stomach and digestive system. Gleeven works by interfering with the development of some cancer cells.
Gleevec should be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep pets and children away from this medication.
Before using Gleevec, inform your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding, or if you are receiving chemotherapy.
Do not take Gleevec on an empty stomach. Some drugs may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor about any prescription, non-prescription, herbal medicines, or supplements that you are using.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you by a doctor. Do not take this medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended. Take Gleevec with a large glass of water and with a meal. Have your blood tested on a regular basis to ensure that Gleevec is not causing harmful effects. Your liver may also need testing. If you miss a dose of Gleevec, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Make sure you eat a meal and have a large glass of water when taking your dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule.
Do not use Gleevec is you are pregnant and have not informed your doctor. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. If you become pregnant during treatment inform your doctor immediately. Do not use Gleevec if you are allergic to imatinib. Do not use this medication without first informing your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is unknown whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. This medication should not be used by anyone under 18 unless recommended by a doctor.
Seek emergency help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Gleevec: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Serious Gleevec side effects include: fever, sore throat, headache, serve blistering, peeling, and red skin rash, nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice, fever, chills, body aches, flu-like symptoms, black, bloody or tar colored stools, coughing blood or vomit that looks like coffee ground, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, feeling short of breath, swelling, rapid weight gain, urinating more or less than usual, sudden severe headache or pain behind the eyes.
Less serious side effects: mild nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, gas, muscle or joint pain, skin rash, headache, dizziness, stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, depression, sleep problems, or fatigue.