October 19, 2006: Gleevec Prescribing Information Revised
The US Food and Drug Administration and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation informed healthcare providers about modifications to the prescribing information for cancer drug Gleevec, which is presently defines as occasional incidence of severe congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction. Most of the patients were reporting about cardiac events have other health risk factors such as advanced age and past history of cardiac illness. The prescribing information presently advises that Gleevec patients with cardiac illness or those with risk factors for cardiac failure be monitored closely.
August 17, 2006: Recent Studies Suggest Gleevec Causes Heart Failure in Cancer Patients
There are recent studies that claim that Gleevec can cause heart problems for patients who are taking the drug for treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukkemia or CML. Nature Medicine, in its August 2006 publication, reported regarding a study of 10 CML patients who were treated with Gleevec and acquired congestive heart failure after 1 to 14 months. However, other studies also showed that Gleevec was able to keep 80% to 90% of these CML patients free from cancer for at least 5 years. Since there is high survival rate of most of the CML patients treated with Gleevec, and the cancer relapse is low, many claim that the benefits of Gleevec outweigh its potential health risks.