Imatinib (Glivec®) for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Imatinib is a drug known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor or signal transduction inhibitor which may be used as part of the treatment for people with Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL.
Imatinib is taken by mouth as capsules.
It works by blocking (inhibiting) signals within the leukaemia cells that make them become abnormal and continue to grow and divide. Blocking the signals makes the cells die.
Imatinib may make you feel a bit sick, and sometimes causes diarrhoea. It may also cause leg aches and cramps, rashes, and swelling of the face, especially around the eyes. The side effects are usually mild and treatable.