Glivec (Imatinib)

Categories: Drugs information

What is Glivec?

The existing cancer medicines are in the majority harmful for health. They are not only poisons for cancer cells but for the body as a whole.

Unfortunately the cancer treatments attack not just cancer cells and slow down their growth, but affect healthy cells and other body functions as well. Very often people, who have to use cancer treatments, suffer from serious side effects which deteriorate their general health state. Frequenctly such patients lose hair, lose weight, become weak, have problems with immune system.

Today the great attention is made to such medicines as Glivec (Imatinib) which is considered a revolution in the treatment of cancer.

Glivec is often called molecularly targeted therapy or the therapy designed to attack only cancer cells on the molecular level. This type of cancer treatment recognizes the specific cancer types by indentifying their specific molecules in the cells.

Glivec way of work

Glivec represents the drug specifically designed to target the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) a rare type of oncological disease. The medicine works directly to identify specific molecules related to cancer and is not toxic for the cells and the body as a whole.

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Glivec acts to find out the abnormal molecule specific to the leukemia cancer and interferes with this molecule.

The other study of Glivec demonstrated high treatment results in coping with gastrointestinal cancer –stromal tumor. In patients with this type of cancer, Glivec was able to reduce the tumor size significantly and stop the development of the disease.

Glivec uses

Glivec (Imatinib) is used for the treatment of:

  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia
  • Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) – uncommon type of stomach cancer
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • A rare type of sarcoma- dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
  • Adults with myelodysplastic disorders
  • Adults with myeloproliferative disorders
  • Adults with advanced HES (hypereosinophilic syndrome) or chronic eosinophilic leukaemia

How to use

It is very important to consume the medicine according to the instructions your doctor gave you. Do not stop taking this cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.

Use the exact dose of Glivec with a glass of water after food. The medicine can be prescribed for once or twice a day. It depends on the condition being treated.

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Side effects

Glivec is a very safe cancer therapy with no or minor toxicity to a patient. So, the side effects risks with this medicine are comparatively low to appear. Besides, these side effects are less intense and less serious than a patient can expect from other cancer treatments.

Still the medicine can impose the risk for getting infectious diseases and weaken the immune system. A patient may experience headaches, aching muscles, a sore throat and other cold symptoms during the whole period of treatment.

Tiredness, weakness, feeling sick and diarrhea during and after treatment affects one third of all patients.

The chances for indigestion, loss of appetite, skin rash, joint pain and swelling appear in every 4 men out of 10 who use this medicine.


Glivec may harm an unborn baby developing in the mother’s body. So, pregnant women should not use this medicine and ask for alternative treatments.

Breastfeeding during the treatment is also forbidden as the medicine can pass into breast milk.

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