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When and How to Take Imatinib

Some general 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 dose with a meal 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 doses at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
     
  • For imatinib to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine or take a different amount without first talking to your healthcare provider.
     

Dosing Information

The dose of imatinib your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The reason you are taking the medication
  • Your age
  • Your height and weight (in children)
  • How you respond to the medication
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you may be taking.
     
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
 
(Click Imatinib Dosage for more information.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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