Imatinib is used in the treatment of certain types of leukemia and other forms of cancer that affect blood cells.It also finds application in the therapy of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and – when the latter cannot be treated surgically, and has already spread to other parts of the body or it is a relapse – the Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans .
What is Imatinib?
Imatinib works by blocking the activity of a modified protein in cancer cells which encourages them to multiply. Through this inhibition, the medicine helps to stop the spread of tumor cells.
How is Imatinib taken?
Imatinib is administered orally in the form of tablets. It should usually be given on a full stomach , swallowing it with plenty of water, once or twice a day.
During therapy, your doctor may increase or decrease the recommended dose of medicine.
Side effects of Imatinib
Among the possible side effects of Imatinib we also find:
- He retched
- decreased appetite
- articolar pains
- muscle cramps
- night sweats
- copious tearing
It is essential to notify the doctor immediately in the presence of:
- rash or sores
- breathing problems
- feeling of tightness or chest pain
- swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, hands, feet, ankles or calves
- bags under the eyes
- weight gain
- shortness of breath
- fast or irregular heartbeat or chest strokes
- sputum pink or red
- increased urination, mainly at night
- blood in the stool
- bruising or bleeding
- throat pain, fever, chills and other signs of an ongoing infection
- excessive tiredness or weakness
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Imatinib
Before taking Imatinib, it is essential to tell your doctor:
- the possible allergy to the active substance, its excipients, every other medicine, food or other substances;
- of the drugs, phytotherapics and supplements taken, specifically paracetamol, antibiotics, anticoagulants, antifungals, calcium channel blockers, statins, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, hormonal contraceptives, pimozide, medicines for anxiety, anticonvulsants, sedatives, sleeping tablets, tranquilizers and St. John’s Wort;
- if you suffer (or have suffered) from high blood pressure , irregular heart beat, diabetes, heart, lung, thyroid or liver disease;
- in the presence of a heart attack ;
- if you are a smoker;
- if you take drugs;
- if you consume large quantities of alcohol (or if you did it in the past);
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding ;
- In the presence of diarrhea during therapy, no antidiarrheal should be taken without first discussing it with the doctor.
It is also always best to talk to the doctor about the dangers associated with consuming grapefruit (or its juice) during treatment.