Information about Glivec▼
What is it and what is it used for?
- chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a cancer of the white blood cells in which granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) start growing out of control. Glivec is used when the patients are ‘Philadelphia-chromosome-positive’ (Ph+). This means that some of their genes have re-arranged themselves to form a special chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome. Glivec is used in adults and children who have been newly diagnosed with Ph+ CML and who are not eligible for a bone-marrow transplant. It is also used in adults and children in the ‘chronic phase’ of the disease if it is not responding to interferon alpha (another anticancer medicine), and in more advanced phases of the disease (‘accelerated phase’ and ‘blast crisis’);
- Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a type of cancer in which lymphocytes (another type of white blood cell) multiply too quickly. Glivec is used in combination with other anticancer medicines in adults who have been newly diagnosed with Ph+ ALL. It is also used alone to treat Ph+ ALL that has returned following previous treatment, or is not responding to other medicines;
- myelodysplastic or myeloproliferative diseases (MD / MPD), a group of diseases in which the body produces large numbers of abnormal blood cells. Glivec is used to treat adults with MD / MPD who have re-arrangements of the gene for platelet-derived-growth-factor receptor (PDGFR);
- advanced hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) or chronic eosinophilic leukaemia (CEL), diseases in which eosinophils (another type of white blood cell) start growing out of control. Glivec is used to treat adults with HES or CEL who have a specific re-arrangement of two genes called FIP1L1 and PDGFRα;
- gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST), a type of cancer (sarcoma) of the stomach and bowel, when there is uncontrolled growth of cells in the supporting tissues of these organs. Glivec is used to treat adults with GIST that cannot be removed with surgery or have spread to other parts of the body, and adults who are at risk of GIST coming back after surgical removal;
- dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), a type of cancer (sarcoma) in which cells in the tissue beneath the skin divide uncontrollably. Glivec is used to treat adults with DFSP that cannot be removed with surgery, and in adults who are not eligible for surgery when the cancer has returned after treatment or has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the benefits?
What are main side effects?
- weight increase
- neutropenia (low levels of the white blood cells that fight infection)
- thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet counts)
- anaemia (low red-blood-cell counts)
- nausea (feeling sick)
- indigestion (dyspepsia)
- abdominal (tummy) pain
- fluid retention (oedema)
- muscle spasm
- cramps, muscle and joint pain
- fatigue (tiredness).
Product information changes
Who should avoid taking it?
What studies have been done?
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions (side effects) after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals or patients are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. We cannot provide individual medical advice. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
For the full list of side effects and restrictions, see the package leaflet (link to package leaflet available in External Resources).