Imatinib Mesylate (Page 3 of 11)

5.2 Hematologic Toxicity

Treatment with imatinib mesylate is associated with anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Perform complete blood counts weekly for the first month, biweekly for the second month, and periodically thereafter as clinically indicated (for example, every 2 to 3 months). In CML, the occurrence of these cytopenias is dependent on the stage of disease and is more frequent in patients with accelerated phase CML or blast crisis than in patients with chronic phase CML. In pediatric CML patients the most frequent toxicities observed were Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias, including neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia. These generally occur within the first several months of therapy [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.14) ] .

5.3 Congestive Heart Failure and Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction have been reported in patients taking imatinib mesylate tablets. Cardiac adverse reactions were more frequent in patients with advanced age or co-morbidities including previous medical history of cardiac disease. In an international randomized Phase 3 study in 1,106 patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in chronic phase, severe cardiac failure and left ventricular dysfunction were observed in 0.7% of patients taking imatinib mesylate tablets compared to 0.9% of patients taking IFN + Ara-C. In another randomized trial with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML patients in chronic phase that compared imatinib mesylate and nilotinib, cardiac failure was observed in 1.1% of patients in the imatinib mesylate arm and 2.2% of patients in the nilotinib 300 mg twice daily arm and severe (Grade 3 or 4) cardiac failure occurred in 0.7% of patients in each group. Carefully monitor patients with cardiac disease or risk factors for cardiac or history of renal failure. Evaluate and treat any patient with signs or symptoms consistent with cardiac or renal failure.

5.4 Hepatotoxicity

Hepatotoxicity, occasionally severe, may occur with imatinib mesylate [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1) ] . Cases of fatal liver failure and severe liver injury requiring liver transplants have been reported with both short-term and long-term use of imatinib mesylate. Monitor liver function (transaminases, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase) before initiation of treatment and monthly, or as clinically indicated. Manage laboratory abnormalities with imatinib mesylate interruption and/or dose reduction [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.13) ]. When imatinib mesylate is combined with chemotherapy, liver toxicity in the form of transaminase elevation and hyperbilirubinemia has been observed. Additionally, there have been reports of acute liver failure. Monitoring of hepatic function is recommended.

5.5 Hemorrhage

In a trial of imatinib mesylate versus IFN+Ara-C in patients with the newly diagnosed CML, 1.8% of patients had Grade 3/4 hemorrhage. In a randomized trial in patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in chronic phase comparing imatinib mesylate and nilotinib, GI hemorrhage occurred in 1.4% of patients in the imatinib mesylate arm, and in 2.9% of patients in the nilotinib 300 mg twice daily arm. None of these events were Grade 3 or 4 in the imatinib mesylate arm; 0.7% were Grade 3 or 4 in the nilotinib 300 mg twice daily arm. In addition, gastric antral vascular ectasia has been reported in postmarketing experience.

5.6 Gastrointestinal Disorders

Imatinib mesylate is sometimes associated with GI irritation. Imatinib mesylate tablets should be taken with food and a large glass of water to minimize this problem. There have been rare reports, including fatalities, of GI perforation.

5.7 Hypereosinophilic Cardiac Toxicity

In patients with hypereosinophilic syndrome with occult infiltration of HES cells within the myocardium, cases of cardiogenic shock/left ventricular dysfunction have been associated with HES cell degranulation upon the initiation of imatinib mesylate therapy. The condition was reported to be reversible with the administration of systemic steroids, circulatory support measures and temporarily withholding imatinib mesylate.

Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease and systemic mastocytosis may be associated with high eosinophil levels. Consider performing an echocardiogram and determining serum troponin in patients with HES/CEL, and in patients with MDS/MPD or ASM associated with high eosinophil levels. If either is abnormal, consider prophylactic use of systemic steroids (1 to 2 mg/kg) for one to two weeks concomitantly with imatinib mesylate at the initiation of therapy.

5.8 Dermatologic Toxicities

Bullous dermatologic reactions, including erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have been reported with use of imatinib mesylate. In some cases of bullous dermatologic reactions, including erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome reported during postmarketing surveillance, a recurrent dermatologic reaction was observed upon rechallenge. Several foreign postmarketing reports have described cases in which patients tolerated the reintroduction of imatinib mesylate therapy after resolution or improvement of the bullous reaction. In these instances, imatinib mesylate was resumed at a dose lower than that at which the reaction occurred and some patients also received concomitant treatment with corticosteroids or antihistamines.

5.9 Hypothyroidism

Clinical cases of hypothyroidism have been reported in thyroidectomy patients undergoing levothyroxine replacement during treatment with imatinib mesylate. Monitor TSH levels in such patients.

5.10 Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Imatinib mesylate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Imatinib mesylate was teratogenic in rats when administered during organogenesis at doses approximately equal to the maximum human dose of 800 mg/day based on BSA. Significant post-implantation loss was seen in female rats administered imatinib mesylate at doses approximately one-half the maximum human dose of 800 mg/day based on BSA. Advise sexually active female patients of reproductive potential to use effective contraception (methods that result in less than 1% pregnancy rates) when using imatinib mesylate and for 14 days after stopping imatinib mesylate. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, apprise the patient of the potential hazard to a fetus [ see Use in Specific Populations (8.1) ] .

5.11 Growth Retardation in Children and Adolescents

Growth retardation has been reported in children and pre-adolescents receiving imatinib mesylate. The long-term effects of prolonged treatment with imatinib mesylate on growth in children are unknown. Therefore, monitor growth in children under imatinib mesylate treatment [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1) ] .

5.12 Tumor Lysis Syndrome

Cases of Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS), including fatal cases, have been reported in patients with CML, ALL, and eosinophilic leukemia receiving imatinib mesylate. The patients at risk of TLS are those with tumors having a high proliferative rate or high tumor burden prior to treatment. Monitor these patients closely and take appropriate precautions. Due to possible occurrence of TLS, correct clinically significant dehydration and treat high uric acid levels prior to initiation of imatinib mesylate.

5.13 Impairments Related to Driving and Using Machinery

Motor vehicle accidents have been reported in patients receiving imatinib mesylate. Advise patients that they may experience side effects, such as dizziness, blurred vision, or somnolence during treatment with imatinib mesylate. Recommend caution when driving a car or operating machinery.

5.14 Renal Toxicity

A decline in renal function may occur in patients receiving imatinib mesylate. Median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values in patients on imatinib mesylate 400 mg daily for newly-diagnosed CML (four randomized trials) declined from a baseline value of 85 ml/min/1.73m 2 (N=1190) to 75 ml/min/1.73m 2 at 12 months (N=1082) and 69 ml/min/1.73m 2 at 60 months (N=549). Evaluate renal function prior to initiating imatinib mesylate and monitor during therapy, with attention to risk factors for renal dysfunction, such as pre-existing renal impairment, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and congestive heart failure.


The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

· Fluid Retention and Edema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

· Hematologic Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

· Congestive Heart Failure and Left Ventricular Dysfunction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]

· Hepatotoxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

· Hemorrhage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]

· Gastrointestinal Disorders [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]

· Hypereosinophilic Cardiac Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]

· Dermatologic Toxicities [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]

· Hypothyroidism [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]

· Growth Retardation in Children and Adolescents [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]

· Tumor Lysis Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]

· Impairments Related to Driving and Using Machinery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]

· Renal Toxicity [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.14 )]

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