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- Imatinib Mesylate is used in the treatment of blood cancers, bone marrow disorders, skin cancer and certain tumours of the stomach and the digestive tract.
How it works
- Imatinib Mesylate belongs to a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by preventing abnormal protein activity which signals cancer cells to multiply and spread across the body, thus inhibiting the growth of these abnormal cells.
Common side effects
chills fever, swelling due to fluid retention, and headache, blurred vision, chills or sore throat, , and vomiting, Common: nausea, lack of sleep, bone/ joint pain, hair loss, weight loss, muscle cramps, rapid weight gain
Imatinib should always be taken at the advice of a doctor who is experienced in treating cancers.
Do not start or continue imatinib and consult your doctor;
- If you are allergic to imatinib or any other ingredients in the medicine
- if you have or had a liver, kidney or heart problem
- if your thyroid gland has been removed and you have been prescribed levothyroxine
- if there is weight gain following treatment with imatinib
- if your develop swelling in part or whole of the body as your body may retain water due to imatinib
Do not start imatinib in children without the advice of the doctor, since it may affect the normal growth in children. Effective contraceptives should be used by women during therapy. Your doctor may ask you to undergo certain blood tests before and during treatment with imatinib, to check your response to the drug and the drugs side-effects. Imatinib can cause dizziness or drowsiness and blurred vision, therefore, caution should be taken before operating an automobile or machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination.
Frequently asked questions
1.Is imatinib Mesylate safe during pregnancy?
Studies have shown that the fetus may be harmed with the use of imatinib during pregnancy. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
2.Is imatinib/imatinib mesylate curative?
Imatinib can be effective for treating blood cancers like chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ph-positive ALL), gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). It can also treat some diseases where certain blood cells grow in an uncontrolled fashion, like myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) and hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL). However, most of these diseases can recur. The response to treatment and the chances of recurrence depend upon individual patient and his/her response to the drug.
3.Is imatinib Mesylate available in India?
Yes, it is available in India as a prescription drug.
4.Is imatinib Mesylate a chemotherapy drug/cytotoxic drug/monoclonal antibody?
Imatinib belongs to a class of medications called protein kinase inhibitors. It is called as a chemotherapeutic or cytotoxic drug as it kills the cancer cells. It is not a monoclonal antibody.
5.Is imatinib Mesylate effective? How does it work?
Imatinib is used in the treatment of blood cancers like chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ph-positive ALL), gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). It is also used to treat some diseases where certain blood cells grow in an uncontrolled fashion, like myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) and hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL).
6.Does imatinib Mesylate cause hair loss?
Yes, hair loss is the common side effect associated with the use of imatinib.