The below information on Gleevec has been taken from official FDA sources, but we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. Please use this site for educational purposes only. This site does not replace a proper discussion with your doctor.

    Brand Name:Gleevec
    Generic:Imatinib Mesylate
This drug was approved by the FDA in one form or another on:
2003-04-18 ,
This drug is made in one form or another by the following companies:
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
This drug is available in the following forms:
View the actual FDA approved label for this drug at the following links:

About Gleevec

Gleevec is used in adults for the treatment of:

  • gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
  • dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)
  • myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) associated with PDGFR (platelet-derived growth factor receptor) gene rearrangements
  • aggressive systemic mastocytosis (ASM)
  • hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL)

Gleevec is used in adults and children for the treatment of:

  • Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML)

In patients being treated for Ph+ CML or GIST, it is not known at this time whether Gleevec will improve symptoms or help patients live longer.

Side Effects of Gleevec

Commonly reported side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fluid retention (sometimes severe)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Headache

Although some of the serious side effects occur less frequently, severe side effects include severe fluid retention (edema), liver problems, heart failure, and the potential for bleeding (hemorrhage), especially in the elderly.

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Recent Forum Posts on Gleevec

drug interactions between Gleevec and VesiCare

I care for my father full time and he is Gleevec for CML and a whole bunch of medication for heart disease. My question is what is the drug interaction between Gleevec and Vesicare? The pharmacy that I currently use refilled my dads Vesicare last month and now this month the same pharmacy different pharmacist is telling me that there in a drug interaction between Gleevec and Vesicare. Please clearify this for me.:confused: Sincerely, Leticia Honesto caregiver for Juan Luevano Jr.


hi.. I was diagnosed in 2006 with CML, and prescribe 400mb glevec for 1 year plus and increase to 600mg until now. Last 8 month my bone marrow autopsy fish showed that from 500 cell none signal was detected means that the cml cell no more. For the next bone marrow autopsy which will be schedule on november 2008 my doctor will do bone marrow autopsy fish by PCR means per 1 million sell. There the doctor will no wheater the cancer cell still there or no more. I have several side effect i.e muscle cramp and always freezing. For everybody information i took sea cucumber extract (air gamat) 2 large full spoon eveyday. it's a bit salty but can reduce muscle cramp about 95%. Visit or or or simply search for "air gamat langkawi" for more information. Langkawi is situated at Malaysia . If you always feel freezing you can take a garlic pill twice a day. the pill are selling widely from the pharmacy. visit I am happy with this herbal medication to help me reduce the side effect and my strength are very good and happy. tq

side effect

i was diagnosed 3 years ago with thymoma....i'm currently taking gleevec because my doctor said i'm c-kit positive, whatever it means...i've taken it since May of th is year and the one side effect that concerns me is pain to my left side and lower back, feeling of bloatedness....and shortness of breath....i also experience muscle cramps in my legs and stomach....will this go away or will this be forever side effect since i will continuously take gleevec?


I have been taking Gleevec for 1-1/2 years now for chronic myelogenou leukemia, and am in complete molecular remission, working full-time and raising two boys, 9 and 13, with few problems. Some days I am up at 6 and not in bed until 2 am! I feel tired, but I think that is pretty normal. Thank the Lord for Gleevec! Tummy problems can be avoided by taking it with a meal and drinking lots of water. You can get the drug free if you write the drug company, Novartis, through their compassionate use program. There are financial guidelines, but it sounds like the lady mentioned above would qualify. Good luck.


I was diagnosed in 1998 with CML, and had no match for a bone marrow transplant. At that time I heard about STI-571 being in clinical trial in N.Y. I went back and forth to N.Y. to get my testing and pills until the FDA approved what is now Gleevec. I started Gleevec in Oct. 2000, and was in complete cytogenetic remission in July of 2001 with a dose of 400mg. I still take the 400mg. a day. I think my worst side effects is the anemia. I am always freezing, and also the extreme leg cramps and fatigue.
I constantly look for new information on the advances being made with CML besides the Gleevec, but have not seen anything new. If anybody has any information they want to share. Please feel free to send me a e-mail.
I Thank God Everyday for the research that caused them to find Gleevec, and pray that anyone on Gleevec will see a good response. It has certainly shed a new light on life with me.

Susan Armour


I was diagnosed with GIST( Leomysarcoma) in the month of Jul 2006, undergone laprotomy and took imatinib myselate for one year. In sound health condition. Hope God and Imatinib have worked wonders for me and my family. thanx

No Subject

I have been using Gleevec since July 2002, my life has changed a lot
since then, can say I'm not the same women full of energy as before,
but I have been taking life one day at a time. I have learned to take
much more care of myself and have also learned that living with Leukemia
is not the end of a good life. Now I enjoy much better everything I have.
Thanks first to God and to my doctor and to Gleevec.

prostrate cancer

A couple of years ago there was an article that suggested Gleevec showed promise for treating prostrate cancer. Is there any clinical or group research available or are there any tests currently being performed?
Is Gleevec another form of chemotherapy?

No Subject

Things are going a little bit the wrong way, since a couple of weeks.
There are more and more side effects regarding the taking of Gleevec.
My wife takes 5 x 100 mg a day, and since 4 weeks there are problems with here skin.
Specialy here ears and face giving problems.
After visiting the specialist we decidet to take 20 mg Prednison a day.
For a period of two weeks and then look again.
Yust after 2 days there is improvement, here skin is smooth again.
So hopefully that after two weeks she can stop with the Prednison.


My wife ,Trudy, was very sick for 4 years she had CML.
She did not have much time left.
Then 2 years ago there was the drug Gleevec.
By coincidence I hearded on the tv evening news.
From that time things goes very fast.
Till now my wife is a very happy grandma.
She is not the same strong woman as before,but still she enjoys life.
Thanks to Gleevec!
Geert Woord
Geert Woord

No Subject

Bonjour. Je prends actuellement Gleevec pour un cancer (leucémie ) et le mécicament fonctionne a merveille dans mon cas alors je dis bravo au chercheurs et aux médecins .Je pensais etre condanné mais grace a gleevec y a une lueur d espoir j ai 48 ans et je me porte quand meme bien ..............y a seulement mon coté chronique qui a des problemes on pense tjs au pire .......... merci et bravo p.s. continuez

sun exposure with gleevec

My girlfriend takes gleevec for leukemia, does this drug make you hypersensitive to the sun?

No Subject

Do you know if there is a problem with taking Gleevec and the hepatitis vaccine?


My father has been on gleevec for a couple of years now and it has been successful in controlling his cancer (GIST) with minimal side effects. Now my 3.5 year old cousin has been diagnosed with DFSP and Gleevec has been recommended and may start taking it soon. We are very happy to have found this drug!

Gleevec assistance

My Mother-in-Law has been taking Gleevec for A year now and doing well. Up to this point, she has been getting it through a drug program. She has been told the program is ending and she has to get one of the medicare drug insurances. The best we have found so far still leaves her paying $1000.00 per month for her treatment. The only income she has is Medicare. Does anyone know of a better program or a free program?

No Subject

My father has been using Gleevec since 2002. He has leomysarcoma and another cancer (gist). It has been very effective, with minimal side effects.

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