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Imatinib Dosage

Imatinib Dosing for Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

The usual recommended dose of imatinib for the treatment of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (a rare type of skin cancer) is 400 mg twice a day (800 mg daily divided into twice-daily dosing).
 

Imatinib Dosage for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

The standard dose of imatinib for the treatment of GIST (a rare cancer of the stomach, intestines, or esophagus) is 400 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may increase this amount to a maximum of 800 mg a day (400 mg twice a day) if you are not adequately responding to treatment and are not experiencing serious side effects.
 

Adjusting Your Dose of Imatinib

Certain people may need lower imatinib dosages. This includes people who:
 
  • Have liver disease
  • Have kidney disease
  • Experience potentially serious side effects of the blood, such as abnormally low white blood cells or platelets.
     
Also, people taking certain other medications that lower imatinib blood levels may need higher doses (see Drug Interactions With Imatinib).
 

General Information on Taking Imatinib

Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with imatinib include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day.
     
  • Doses of 800 mg should be divided into twice-daily dosing (400 mg twice a day).
     
  • You should take your imatinib dosage with food and a large glass of water.
     
  • Do not crush, chew, or cut imatinib tablets. Swallow them whole.
     
  • If you are unable to swallow the tablets, you may dissolve them in a glass of water or apple juice, and then drink the liquid. Use about 50 mL of liquid for a 100-mg tablet and 200 mL for a 400-mg tablet. Stir with a spoon and drink the mixture right after the tablet dissolves.
     
  • Try to take your dosages at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking imatinib or take a different dosage without first talking to your healthcare provider.
     
  • If you are unsure about anything related to dosing with imatinib, please talk with your healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist.
     
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