Imatinib is a drug used for treatment of Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).

​What is this medication use​​d for​

Imatinib is a drug used for treatment of Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).

Dosage a​nd How to Use​

It is a capsule that you take by mouth.​ It should be taken with a meal and a large glass of water (250ml). Avoid grapefruit and/or its juice, and St John’s Wort.

Missed a Do​​se​

If you miss a dose of Imatinib, take it as soon as you can if it is within 12 hours of the missed dose. If it is over 12 hours since your missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your usual dosing. Do not double the dose.


Side Effects, Precautio​ns, Contraindication​​​

What are the side effects of Imatinib?​​

Imatinib is usually well tolerated and serious side effects are rare.

  • Nausea or vomiting may occur when you first start taking Imatinib
  • Mild diarrhea may occur
  • Mild to moderate joint or muscle pain
  • Mild to moderate headache may occur
  • ​You may feel lethargic or giddy
  • Try to avoid heavy-duty work or long outings on such days

Inform your doctor if any of the following occurs:​​

  • Fever of 38°C or higher
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black dark stools
  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling around the eyelids or other parts of the body
  • Persistent or severe diarrhea unresponsive to medication
  • Do not take any medication without informing your doctor, including over-the-counter medications like paracetamol
  • If you are taking iron supplements

​​​​Handling and Storage

Store Imatinib tablets out of the reach of children, at room temperature, away from heat, light and moisture.


Additional Information​

Other name: Glivec®

If you have any questions, please call your pharmacist at the National Cancer Centre. The side effects listed above are those that occur frequently. Other side effects may occur. Please contact your doctor to report.


​Disclaimer: The National Cancer Centre Singapore does not endorse or promote the use of any product mentioned in this booklet. The information is presented in a summary to provide an understanding and for knowledge only, and may not contain information about all aspects of care. It does not recommend self-management of health problems or replace consultation with your doctor. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you have read in this booklet.

Copyright © National Cancer Centre Singapore

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

Document No. PHM-MED-PEM-099/0916

Version 1 
Last reviewed: July 2017 
Produced by Department of Pharmacy 
National Cancer Centre Singapore

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