What is it and how is it used?
Glivec is a medicine containing an active substance called imatinib. This medicine works by inhibiting the growth of abnormal cells in the diseases listed below. These include some types of cancer.
Glivec is a treatment for adults and children for:
- Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).Leukaemia is a cancer of white blood cells. These white cells usually help the body to fight infection. Chronic myeloid leukaemia is a form of leukaemia in which certain abnormal white cells (named myeloid cells) start growing out of control.
Glivec is also a treatment for adults for:
- Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph-positive ALL). Leukaemia is a cancer of white blood cells. These white cells usually help the body to fight infection. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a form of leukaemia in which certain abnormal white cells (named lymphoblasts) start growing out of control. Glivec inhibits the growth of these cells.
- Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD). These are a group of blood diseases in which some blood cells start growing out of control. Glivec inhibits the growth of these cells in a certain subtype of these diseases.
- Hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukaemia (CEL). These are blood diseases in which some blood cells (named eosinophils) start growing out of control. Glivec inhibits the growth of these cells in a certain subtype of these diseases.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). GIST is a cancer of the stomach and bowels. It arises from uncontrolled cell growth of the supporting tissues of these organs.
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). DFSP is a cancer of the tissue beneath the skin in which some cells start growing out of control. Glivec inhibits the growth of these cells. In the rest of this leaflet, we will use the abbreviations when talking about these diseases.
If you have any questions about how Glivec works or why this medicine has been prescribed for you, ask your doctor.
What do you have to consider before using it?
Glivec will only be prescribed to you by a doctor with experience in medicines to treat blood cancers or solid tumours.
Follow all your doctor’s instructions carefully, even if they differ from the general information contained in this leaflet.
Do not take Glivec:
- if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to imatinib or any of the other ingredients of Glivec listed in section 6. If this applies to you, tell your doctor without taking Glivec.
If you think you may be allergic but are not sure, ask your doctor for advice.
Take special care with Glivec
Before taking Glivec, tell your doctor:
- if you have or have ever had a liver, kidney or heart problem.
- if you are taking the medicine levothyroxine because your thyroid has been removed. If any of these apply to you, tell your doctor before taking Glivec.