Imatinib review

Imatinib is a chemotherapy drug that is mainly used for the treatment certain types of cancer, chronic myelogenous leukemia, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and a few other malignancies. It works by targeting a certain type of protein found in cancer cells and attacks that to stop the cancer cells from multiplying.

Imatinib may also be used to cure other conditions aside from the ones specified here.

Anyone who gets a prescription from the doctor can get imatinib. Generally, those are people who would experience any of the illnesses mentioned earlier however; further medical advice should be sought if the patient has other conditions such as infections, bleeding problems, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, stomach problems, and allergies to other substances.

People who are allergic to imatinib should never take this drug. If that is the case, ask the doctor for substitute drugs or other approaches that can be taken.

A patient should follow exactly doctor’s advice on dosage and how long a patient should take imatinib. With this, a patient should not take more that the recommended dose and longer than the specific period.

Imatinib should be taken with a glass of water. It is recommended that this drug would be taken on a full stomach to decrease the chances of an upset stomach. If little is known of the drug, a lot of useful information can be found on the leaflet that is provided for. This drug should be strictly taken at regular intervals.

Some people may have difficulty swallowing this drug. If that is the case, make sure to let the pharmacist or doctor know immediately as they will provide instructions on how to take the drug. As this medicine is only for the patient of whom it was prescribed for, this should never be shared with others.

Taking imatinib can bring about a number of side effects that can either be serious or mild.

Some of these mild side effects would include diarrhea, decreased appetite, headache, sleep problems, joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, and upset stomach. While these would not need immediate medical attention, this should be reported to a doctor if these side effects would not go away in time.

Some serious side effects would be symptoms of infection, low blood counts, allergic reactions, breathing problems, mouth sores, flu symptoms, jaundice and many others. If any of these serious side effects should be experienced, seek immediate medical attention.

There are a lot of substances that may interact with this medicine including antiviral medicine, cisapride, bosentan, cyclosporine, medicines for depression, medicines for fungal infections, warfarin, vaccines, rifabutin, grapefruit or grapefruit juice, and many other substances. To be safe, a patient should let the doctor know whatever substances are being ingested asides from imatinib.

Some medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen may not interfere with imatinib but the doctor should still be aware if the patient is taking any of these.

If side effects such as fever or flu or any discomforting side effects should come out while taking imatinib, do not self medicate instead, seek medical attention.

When on imatinib, stay away from people who are sick as there is a possibility that the immune system would be lowered when on this drug; that would make a patient more vulnerable to illnesses.

Imatinib has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of imatinib

• Molecular formula of imatinib is C29H31N7O
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 4-[(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)methyl]-N-[4-methyl-3-[ (4-pyridin-3-ylpyrimidin-2-yl)amino]-phenyl]-benzamide
• Molecular weight is 493.603 g/mol
Imatinib available : 100mg tablets and 400mg tablets

Brand name(s): Gleevec, Glivec

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