Leukemia Home > Cancer Drug Gleevec

People with certain types of cancer -- in particular, leukemia, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, or a certain kind of gastrointestinal tumor known as GIST -- may treat the condition with a drug called Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate). It works by inhibiting the release of an enzyme that causes cancer cells to grow. Gleevec comes in tablet form, and is taken once or twice a day with food and water. Like most cancer drugs, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue are possible.
(Click Gleevec to learn more about this drug for cancer, including dosing guidelines, what to do in cases of overdose, generic availability, and more.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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