Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US


Brand Names: Canada

ACT-Imatinib; Apo-Imatinib; Gleevec; Teva-Imatinib

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat cancer.
  • It is used to treat blood problems.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child is taking warfarin.

If your child is breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby or plans to breast-feed a baby.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
  • If your child has an upset stomach or loose stools (diarrhea), is throwing up, or is not hungry, talk with the doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
  • Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Avoid giving your child grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly holes in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract have happened with this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Patients with cancer who take this drug may be at greater risk of getting a bad and sometimes deadly health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fast heartbeat; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
  • If the tablet is crushed or broken, do not touch the contents. If you do touch the contents or get it in your eyes, wash hands or eyes right away.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • Have your child use birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.

If your child is pregnant:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Bone pain.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Heart failure has happened with this drug. Heart failure has also at times gotten worse in people who already have it. Call the doctor right away if your child has shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Hair loss.
  • Belly pain.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Joint pain.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Dizziness.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Not hungry.
  • Gas.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Change in taste.
  • Nose and throat irritation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Night sweats.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.
  • Give this drug at the same time of day.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
  • Give with a meal.
  • Give this drug with a full glass of water.
  • You may put tablets in a glass of water or apple juice. How much liquid depends on your child’s dose. Talk with the doctor. Let it sit for a few minutes. Mix and have your child drink. Rinse cup with more water or juice and have your child drink.
  • Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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