Gleevec Side Effects and Health Precautions

Mild Gleevec side effects. Less serious Gleevec side effects may include:
• mild nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
• muscle cramps
• joint or muscle pain
• headache, feeling tired or
• stuffy nose, sinus pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. DO call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. DO report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088, if you wish.

Gleevec DOs and DON’Ts: Before using Gleevec
DO tell your doctor, before using Gleevec, if you have:
• liver disease
• kidney disease
• underactive thyroid
• congestive heart failure
• a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding
• or if you are receiving chemotherapy

DON’T use Gleevec if you are allergic to imatinib.
DON’T use Gleevec if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Gleevec belongs to FDA pregnancy category D.

DO use effective birth control
DO tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
DON’T use Gleevec without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby. It’s not known whether imatinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby.
DO talk to your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication. Gleevec can affect growth in children.
DON’T give this medication to anyone under two years old without medical advice.

DO’s and DON’Ts When taking Gleevec
DO take Gleevec exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
DON’T take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
DO follow the directions on your prescription label.
DO take this medicine with a large glass of water.
DO take Gleevec—always—with a meal.
DON’T take the medicine on an empty stomach.
DO dissolve the Gleevec tablet in water or apple juice, if you wish, to make swallowing easier.

DO Store Gleevec at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

DO seek emergency medical attention if you overdose, or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause severe muscle cramps.

Do get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Gleevec:
• hives
• difficulty breathing
• swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

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Updated 4 October 2016. Originally posted 16 February 2012.