This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Imatinib is a targeted anticancer treatment drug that was approved for its medical use on 10th May 2001.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Imatinib is a biological agent that acts as targeted drug therapy in cancer treatment. It is an anticancer medication that belongs to the category of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. It acts against a protein called BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase and interferes with cell signalling, ultimately stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Uses of undefined

Imatinib has been developed to treat a type of stomach cancer (Gastrointestinal stromal tumour), chronic eosinophilic leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in blast crisis, accelerated phase and chronic phase, Philadelphia chromosome acute lymphoblastic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and skin cancer (Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans).

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Imatinib is available in the form of tablets and capsules in the doses 100mg and 400mg. Your healthcare provider will calculate the ideal dose according to your condition. Take Imatinib Tablet/capsule with a large glass of water. If you have trouble swallowing, dissolve the tablet or capsule contents in water or apple juice and consume them.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Contact your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, fever, or severe bleeding. During the Imatinib treatment, your doctor may periodically monitor your complete blood counts, blood sugar, electrolytes, thyroid panel, and kidney parameters to prevent serious complications. Report to your doctor if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, problems in your heart, liver, skin, kidneys or blood disorders. It is not recommended to undergo surgery or dental procedures during treatment with Imatinib due to high risk of grade ¾ hemorrhage. Tell your physician before you undergo surgery or dental procedures. Get immediate medical attention if you experience itching, yellowing eyes or skin, skin rashes, pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area. 


Imatinib may cause harm to an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider before beginning this treatment if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby. It is advised for both men and women to follow proper contraceptive methods during and for 14 days after the last dose of Imatinib. Avoid breastfeeding your baby while you are on the treatment and for a month after the last dose as Imatinib can impact the growth and development of the baby by passing into the breast milk.

Side Effects

The common side effects that are likely to occur while you are on the treatment with Imatinib are edema, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhoea, rash, cough, sinusitis, bone pain, constipation, and tiredness. Some serious side effects of Imatinib treatment include heart problems, hypothyroidism, severe skin reactions, bleeding, liver impairment, kidney impairment, and stomach problems. If you experience severe headache, lightheadedness, confusion, dizziness, or severe abdominal pain, report to your doctor immediately.

Word Of Advice

Imatinib can cause constipation. Ensure that you stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice unusual weight gain. Avoid driving or operating heavy machines if you experience dizziness, blurred vision or tiredness while on treatment with Imatinib.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. KD Tripathi, Anticancer Drugs, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, 8th Edition, 2019, 915-936.
  2. Anton Wellstein, Giuseppe Giaccone, Michael B. Atkins, and Edward A. Sausville, Goodman & Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Pathway-Targeted Therapies: Monoclonal Antibodies, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, and Various Small Molecules, 13th Edition, 2018, 1203-1236.
  3. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, US Food & Drug Administration, [Revised on Aug 2022] [Accessed on 10th Sep 2022], 


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice, it is meant for educational purposes only. For further details consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you are eligible to receive this treatment.