Ocular side-effects associated with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®)

Frederick W. Fraunfelder, Jonathan Solomon, Brian J. Druker, Bita Esmaeli, Jennifer Kuyl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This retrospective case series describes ocular side-effects associated with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®) and the clinical characteristics of these adverse reactions. A chart review of 104 patients on imatinib mesylate therapy from Oregon Health & Science University's Cancer Center were studied with regard to ocular side-effects. In addition, spontaneous reports from the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and the National Registry of Drug-Induced Ocular Side-Effects databases were reviewed, including a Medline literature search. Seventy-three (70%) of the patients at OHSU developed periorbital edema and 19 patients (18%) developed epiphora after receiving imatinib mesylate. Average dose was 407.5 +/-60mg. Periorbital edema occurred an average of 68+/-48 days after initiation of therapy. WHO classification of side-effects is as follows: certain: periorbital edema; probable: epiphora; possible: extraocular muscle palsy, ptosis, blepharoconjunctivitis; unlikely: glaucoma, papilledema, retinal hemorrhage, photosensitivity, abnormal vision, and increased intraocular pressure. Periorbital edema and epiphora are the two most common ocular side-effects related to imatinib mesylate therapy. Clinical characteristics of imatinib mesylate induced periorbital edema are described. Management of ocular side-effects is conservative except in very rare cases of visually significant periorbital edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-375
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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