Gleevec, known generically as imatinib, works by slowing or stopping the growth of certain cancer cells. Gleevec inhibits (or blocks) specific enzymes in the body called tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinase enzymes are involved in many cell functions, including cell signaling (communication), growth, and division.
Is Gleevec a form of chemotherapy?
Chemo was once one of the main treatments for CML. It’s seldom used now because TKIs like imatinib (Gleevec®) work much better. Today, chemo may be used to treat CML when the TKIs have stopped working. It’s also used as part of a stem cell transplant.
Does Gleevec lower immune system?
Slowed wound healing wasn’t reported in clinical studies of Gleevec. Some types of cancer treatment, such as radiation and chemotherapy, may weaken your immune system.
How does Gleevec target cancer cells?
Gleevec blocks the overactive KIT enzyme in the tumor cells. This disables the GIST cells so that many of them are destroyed. Although the drug also inhibits the KIT enzyme in normal cells, it does not seem to damage them.
What are side effects of Gleevec?
Upset stomach, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle/joint pain, muscle cramps, dizziness, blurred vision, or drowsiness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. People using this medication may have serious side effects.
When is the best time to take Gleevec?
Gleevec should be taken with a large glass of water, after a meal. The amount of Gleevec that you will receive depends on many factors, including your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition being treated. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.
How do you manage the side effects of Gleevec?
Severe fluid retention is usually treated by: Stopping Gleevec. Control edema with diuretics. Restart Gleevec, possibly at a lower dose while maintaining or increasing diuretic (may need to start at a very low dose, ie 50 mg a day, and increase to 400 mg over 6-8 weeks. I’ve done this with several patients).
How long do you stay on Gleevec?
Life Expectancy Improves. CML patients taking Gleevec (imatinib) were followed for up to eight years. In order to be enrolled in the study, patients needed to be incomplete remission after two years of starting the drug, and the study confirmed that they could expect to live as long as people without cancer.
How long can you live Gleevec?
According to large 2006 study of a newer drug called imatinib (Gleevec), there was an 83 percent survival rate after five years for those who received this drug. A 2018 study of patients consistently taking the drug imatinib found that 90 percent lived at least 5 years.
Does Gleevec cause fatigue?
When you take Gleevec, it can reduce the amount of red blood cell production—this varies among patients. This low blood count causes a lack of oxygen to be carried to the tissues, in turn, causing weakness and exhaustion.
Is Gleevec an effective treatment for all types of cancer?
Since its initial approval, Gleevec has also been approved for use in patients with several types of gastrointestinal tumors. Currently, scientists continue to study the drug’s effectiveness not only in various cancers, but also in other diseases, such as stroke (Su et al., 2008).
Does Gleevec shrink tumors?
For most recurrences, treatment with the targeted drug imatinib (Gleevec) is often the first option to try to shrink any tumors, as long as it is still effective and the patient can tolerate taking it.
Does daunorubicin cause hair loss?
Daunorubicin causes the urine to turn reddish in color, which may stain clothes. This is not blood. It is perfectly normal and lasts for only 1 or 2 days after each dose is given. This medicine often causes a temporary and total loss of hair.
Does imatinib cause hair loss?
In most cases, the drug is well tolerated: however, side effects can be seen. Hair loss and paronychia inflammation were often reported with Imatinib, but total alopecia was rarely mentioned. We report a CML patient who was presented with alopecia and paronychia inflammation probably induced by imatinib therapy.
Does Gleevec cause depression?
January 16, 2009 — Seven patients receiving the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) imatinib (Gleevec, Novartis) or dasatinib (Sprycel, Bristol-Myers Squibb) have experienced severe and treatment-related depression, according to clinicians from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, whose letter on the subject was published Jan 16, 2009.
How much is Gleevec a month?
In 2017, a month’s supply of Gleevec cost about $9000, and the cost of generic imatinib was about $8000.
Can you drink on Gleevec?
The common pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol) should not be used with imatinib to avoid stressing the liver. For the same reason, alcohol should be avoided.
How can I reduce the side effects of imatinib?
Imatinib sometimes causes side effects due to the rapid destruction of cancer cells (tumor lysis syndrome). To lower your risk, drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Also, your doctor may prescribe an additional medication.
What pain reliever can I take with Gleevec?
These aches and cramps can usually be managed with calcium and magnesium supplements or mild pain medications, such as ibuprofen.
Can Gleevec cause eye problems?
WHO classification of side-effects is as follows: certain: periorbital edema; probable: epiphora; possible: extraocular muscle palsy, ptosis, blepharoconjunctivitis; unlikely: glaucoma, papilledema, retinal hemorrhage, photosensitivity, abnormal vision, and increased intraocular pressure.
Why does Gleevec cause muscle cramps?
Muscle cramps and pain can occur during cancer treatment, and it is a common side effect of Gleevec. Treatment with Gleevec can cause a reduction in levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood. It is believed that this can be one of the causes of muscle cramps.
Can Gleevec cause muscle weakness?
Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as: low back/side pain (flank pain), pink/bloody urine, change in the amount of urine, painful urination, muscle spasms/weakness. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
Can CML patients live normal life?
While patients with CML are fortunate to have excellent therapies available to control their disease, most do not lead normal lives due to the diminished health-related quality of life that is associated with long term treatment.
Can you take a break from Gleevec?
New treatment guidelines in the U.S. say certain patients can consider stopping Gleevec or similar drugs which were long thought to be needed for the rest of their lives. It’s just a pill or two a day but the drugs are expensive and have side effects.
Is imatinib a chemotherapy?
Imatinib (Gleevec®) is a Chemotherapy Regimen for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)Aug 29, 2015.