This anticancer drug is used for the treatment of the following underlying conditions:

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • GI stromal tumors
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
  • Myeloproliferative/myelodysplastic neoplasms
  • Chronic eosinophilic leukemia
  • Hypereosinophilic syndrome

IUPAC name: 4-[(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)methyl]-N-[4-methyl-3-[(4-pyridin-3-yl pyrimidin-2-yl)amino]phenyl]benzamide

Drug class: Antineoplastic; Kinase inhibitor

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that inhibits cancerous cell development and proliferation by blocking the action of an aberrant protein that signals cancer cells to multiply.

Side effects

Nausea, vomiting, dry skin, diarrhea, dizziness, decreased appetite, headache, dry mouth, flushing, sweating, taste changes, sore mouth, weakness dizziness, rash, itching, weight gain, hair loss, numbness/tingling of the hands or feet, pain in muscles or joints, trouble sleeping, changes in nails, vision changes.

Serious side effects

Shortness of breath, weight gain, abnormally fast heart rate, yellowing of skin, easy bruising or bleeding, bloating, swelling of hands, feet or legs, dark urine.


Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or have any other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a medical history of heart problems, renal disease, hepatic disease, thyroid disease,
  • If you have had recent surgery,
  • Avoid contact with people who have infections to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Limit alcohol consumption as it makes you drowsy and loss of alertness may occur.
  • Older adults and children are more sensitive to the adverse effects of this medication.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
  • This medication should not be given during pregnancy as it may harm the baby.
  • You should avoid breastfeeding while the treatment is going on and for 2 weeks after the treatment.

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