Disease Information & Support


The Word:


Generic name Imatinib mesylate
Pronunciation i-MAT-i-nib MES-i-late
Brand name(s), other common name(s) Gleevec®
Drug type  Tyrosine kinase inhibitor
How the drug is given By mouth

Imatinib mesylate is FDA approved to treat newly diagnosed adult and pediatric patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase, patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in blast crisis (BC), accelerated phase (AP), or in chronic phase (CP) after failure of interferon-alpha therapy, adult patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL), pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) in combination with chemotherapy, adult patients with myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) associated with PDGFR (platelet-derived growth factor receptor) gene re-arrangements and adult patients with hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL) who have the FIP1L1-PDGFRa fusion kinase (mutational analysis or FISH demonstration of CHIC2 allele deletion) and for patients with HES and/or CEL who are FIP1L1- PDGFRa fusion kinase negative or unknown.

Side effects needing medical attention: Black, tarry stools; bleeding problems; bloating or swelling of face, hands, lower legs and/or feet; chest pain; chills; cough; decreased urination or painful or difficult urination; fever; pale skin; rapid weight gain; weight loss; shortness of breath or trouble breathing on exertion; sore throat; sores, ulcers or white spots on lips or in mouth; swollen glands; unusual tiredness or weakness; convulsions (seizures); dry mouth; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; mood changes; muscle pain or cramps; nausea and vomiting; numbness or tingling in hands, feet or lips; small red or purple spots on skin or rash; tightness in chest; wheezing; bone pain; increased bowel movements; loose stools; bloody nose; constipation; headache; joint pain; night sweats; acid indigestion; itchy skin; upset stomach.


For information on how to manage the costs of drug therapy, please see Financial Matters and Prescription Drug Coverage, or to speak with an Information Specialist, call (800) 955-4572.

last updated on Friday, February 01, 2013