Sutent vs. Gleevec

Reviewed on 8/3/2020

Are Sutent and Gleevec the Same Thing?

Sutent (sunitinib malate) and Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) are kinase inhibitors used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Sutent is also used to treat progressive, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic disease.

Gleevec is also used to treat hematological malignancies or malignant sarcomas such as Philadelphia positive chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, aggressive systemic mastocytosis, and other diseases.

Side effects of Sutent and Gleevec that are similar include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, joint pain, tiredness, diarrhea, and skin rash.

Side effects of Sutent that are different from Gleevec include unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth, cough, constipation, dry skin or cracked skin, changes in skin or hair color (yellow skin or lighter skin/hair), hair loss, back pain, fatigue, weakness, fever, mouth pain/sores, abdominal pain, blisters or rash on hands or feet, loss of appetite, pain or swelling in the arms or legs, numbness or tingling of the arms or legs, shortness of breath, bleeding, watery eyes, swelling around the eyes, chest pain, general ill feeling, and uneven heart rate.

Side effects of Gleevec that are different from Sutent include gas, headache, muscle pain or cramps, dizziness, blurred vision, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms, stuffy nose, and sinus pain.

Both Sutent and Gleevec may interact with dexamethasone, isoniazid, nefazodone, St. John's wort, antibiotics, antifungals, barbiturates, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV/AIDS medicines, medicines to treat narcolepsy, and seizure medications.

Sutent may also interact with imatinib, medications to treat osteoporosis or Paget's disease of bone and grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Gleevec may also interact with bosentan, conivaptan, cyclosporine, digoxin, fentanyl, pimozide, sirolimus, tacrolimus, theophylline, blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering medicines, and ergot medicines.

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What Are Possible Side Effects of Sutent?

Common side effects of Sutent include:

Side effects of Sutent include:

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • cough
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • changes in skin or hair color (yellow skin or lighter skin/hair)
  • hair loss
  • joint pain
  • back pain
  • fatigue
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • mouth pain/sores
  • abdominal pain
  • rash or other skin changes such as dry or cracked skin
  • blisters or rash on hands or feet
  • loss of appetite
  • pain or swelling in the arms or legs
  • numbness or tingling of the arms or legs
  • shortness of breath
  • bleeding
  • watery eyes
  • swelling around the eyes
  • chest pain
  • general ill feeling, or
  • uneven heart rate.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Sutent including:

  • headache,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • swelling ankles or feet,
  • unusual weight changes,
  • cold or heat intolerance,
  • unusual tiredness,
  • black or bloody stools,
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds,
  • coughing up blood,
  • slow wound healing,
  • jaw pain,
  • toe/joint/back pain,
  • painful urination,
  • cloudy/pink/bloody urine,
  • changes in the amount of urine,
  • muscle weakness/cramping/twitching,
  • signs of low blood sugar (such as hunger, shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating),
  • mental/mood changes (such as decreased alertness, irritability, nervousness), or
  • vision changes (such as decreased vision).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Gleevec?

Common side effects of Gleevec include:

  • nausea,
  • stomach pain or upset,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • gas,
  • headache
  • muscle or joint pain,
  • muscle cramps,
  • feeling tired,
  • dizziness,
  • blurred vision,
  • drowsiness,
  • skin rash,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • stuffy nose, or
  • sinus pain.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Gleevec including:

  • severe blistering skin rashes,
  • yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice),
  • gastrointestinal bleeding,
  • weakness with shortness of breath,
  • severe headaches,
  • swelling,
  • severe flu-like symptoms
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • fast or pounding heartbeat,
  • extreme tiredness,
  • sudden or unexplained weight gain,
  • swelling (especially of lower legs/the area around eyes),
  • black or bloody stools,
  • dark urine, or
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

What Is Sutent?

Sutent (sunitinib malate) is a multi-kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor after disease progression on, or intolerance to imatinib mesylate, for advanced renal cell carcinoma, and for progressive, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic disease. Sutent is available in generic form.

What Is Gleevec?

Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) is a kinase inhibitor that inhibits a protein signal that causes cancer cell proliferation used to treat patients with hematological malignancies or malignant sarcomas such as Philadelphia positive chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, aggressive systemic mastocytosis, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and other diseases. Gleevec is available in generic form.

What Drugs Interact With Sutent?

Sutent may interact with dexamethasone, imatinib, isoniazid, nefazodone, St. John's wort, antibiotics, antifungals, barbiturates, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV/AIDS medicines, medicines to treat narcolepsy, medications to treat osteoporosis or Paget's disease of bone, seizure medications, or grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

What Drugs Interact With Gleevec?

Gleevec may interact with bosentan, conivaptan, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, digoxin, fentanyl, isoniazid, nefazodone,pimozide, sirolimus, tacrolimus, St. John's wort, theophylline, antibiotics, antifungals, barbiturates, blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering medicines, ergot medicines, heart or blood pressure medicines, heart rhythm medications, HIV/AIDS medicines, medicines to treat narcolepsy, or seizure medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

How Should Sutent be Taken?

The recommended dose of Sutent (strengths available are 12.5, 25 and 50mg tablets). Sutent may be taken without food. Dose modification depends on the type of cancer treated and is determined by the treating doctor. Severe side effects include hepatotoxicity.

How Should Gleevec be Taken?

How Should Gleevec be Taken?    Gleevec is supplied in 100 or 400 mg tablets. The dose is quite variable and depends on the disease being treated, age of patient (some doses based on mg per kilogram weight (mg/Kg). Doses usually range between 100 to 800 mg per day; high doses are divided into lower mg levels but are taken twice a day. Because the tablets have iron in the coating, high doses should use the 400 mg tablets to avoid getting too much iron. Gleevec should be taken with water and food. Gleevec should not be crushed or come in direct contact with skin as serious rashes may develop.

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References
Pfizer. Sutent Product Information

https://www.sutent.com

FDA. Gleevec Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/021588s024lbl.pdf

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