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  • Basic Info
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Generic: imatinib
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It targets a specific protein within cancer cells and stops the cancer cells from growing
               



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What is this medicine?

IMATINIB (i MAT in ib) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets a specific protein within cancer cells and stops the cancer cells from growing. It is used to treat certain leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes, and other cancers. It is also used to treat specific digestive tract tumors called GISTs.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bleeding problems
  • infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease
  • stomach problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to imatinib, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast- feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Take it with food to decrease the chance of it upsetting your stomach. Do not take with grapefruit juice. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

If you have difficulty swallowing the tablets, let your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional know. They can help you with advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 year for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose and skip your missed dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • bosentan
  • cisapride
  • clarithromycin
  • cyclosporine
  • dexamethasone
  • diltiazem
  • ergot alkaloids like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
  • erythromycin
  • grapefruit or grapefruit juice
  • medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin lovastatin, simvastatin
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bepridil, dofetilide, encainide, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • medicines for sleep
  • NSAIDS, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • pimozide
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • sildenafil
  • sirolimus
  • St. John's wort
  • tacrolimus
  • vaccines
  • verapamil
  • warfarin

Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:

  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen

               
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