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More Than 200 Abstracts at ASH and SABCS Reveal Potential Compelling Patient Benefits From Novartis Oncology Current and Pipeline Therapies
Date:12/3/2008

ecome pregnant while taking Gleevec tablets and to avoid breast-feeding while taking Gleevec tablets because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants. Sexually active female patients taking Gleevec should use adequate contraception. If the patient does become pregnant while taking Gleevec, the patient should be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Severe (NCI Grades 3/4) lab abnormalities -- including neutropenia (3.6%-48%), anemia (1%-42%), thrombocytopenia (<1%-33%) and hepatotoxicity (approx 5%) -- and severe adverse experiences (NCI Grades 3/4), including severe fluid retention (e.g., pleural effusion, pulmonary edema and ascites) and superficial edema (1.3%-11%), hemorrhage (1.8%-19%) and musculoskeletal pain (2%-9%) were reported among patients receiving Gleevec*. Severe fluid retention appears to be dose-related, was more common in the advanced phase studies (where the dosage was 600 mg/day), and is more common in the elderly.

Severe congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction have occasionally been reported. Most of the patients with reported cardiac events have had other co-morbidities and risk factors, including advanced age and previous medical history of cardiac disease. Patients with cardiac disease or risk factors for cardiac failure should be monitored carefully, and any patient with signs or symptoms consistent with cardiac failure should be evaluated and treated.

Dose adjustments may be necessary due to hepatotoxicity, other nonhematologic adverse reactions, or hematologic adverse reactions. Therapy with Gleevec was discontinued for drug-related adverse reactions in 2.4% to 5% of patients. Complete blood counts should be performed weekly for the first month, biweekly for the second month, and periodically thereafter as clinically indicated (for example, every 2-3 months).

A 25% decrease in the recommended dose should
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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