"March 22, 2011 -- When Jerry Mayfield was diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 his doctors gave him about three years to live. Twelve years later, Mayfield says he feels just fine.
What makes his survival story so remarkable is that it is "...
Gleevec Consumer (continued)
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, fast/pounding heartbeat, extreme tiredness, sudden/unexplained weight gain, swelling (especially of lower legs/the area around eyes), increasing trouble breathing (shortness of breath).
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: black/bloody stools, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.
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. 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. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice any other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking imatinib, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding problems, heart problems (e.g., heart failure), kidney problems, liver problems.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
This medication may slow down a child's growth. The effect on final adult height is unknown. See the doctor regularly so your child's height can be checked.
The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug (e.g., swelling). Also, the manufacturer recommends a routine heart test (LV ejection fraction) in the elderly before treatment.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug must use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) during treatment with this drug. Talk with your doctor about effective forms of birth control.
This medication passes into breast milk. Because of possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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