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How Does Imatinib Work?

Cancers affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, skin, blood, and bone marrow are often treated with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®). It works by blocking a specific enzyme that cancer cells need to grow. Healthcare providers typically recommend this chemotherapy drug when surgery or other medications have failed. It can also help prevent the cancer from coming back.
Imatinib will not work if you stop taking it or if you take it differently than your healthcare provider recommends. Do not adjust your dose without talking to your healthcare provider first.
(Click Imatinib for more information on how to take this medication. This article also covers possible side effects, generic availability, and what to do if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.)
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