Last update Sept. 5, 2014

Imatinib Mesilate

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.

Inhibitor of tyrosine kinase that is used for treatment of Leukemia and some types of cancer.

Excretion intro breast milk is very low, with no problems reported among breastfed infants from treated mothers.

Concentration in the mother's milk decreases to one half after 9 hours from the last dose which is a property that could be taken advantage of to minimize the dose transfer to the infant if stopping breastfeeding is not desired.

If continuation of safely breastfeeding is desired without assuming high risk for potentially severe side-effects, elimination of total burden of drug should be kept. For this to happen, breastfeeding should be stopped for 10 half-lives (T ½).

It means wait 16 days after the last dose before resuming breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, frequent pump-and-dump is recommended for maintenance of milk production.


We do not have alternatives for Imatinib Mesilate.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Imatinib Mesilate is also known as


Imatinib Mesilate belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Imatinib Mesilate in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 98 %
Molecular weight 590 daltons
Protein Binding 95 %
Tmax 2 - 4 hours
18 - 40 hours
Theoretical Dose 0.3 - 0.4 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 2.3 - 5.8 %


  1. Anderson PO. Cancer Chemotherapy. Breastfeed Med. 2016 May;11:164-5. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Grunewald S, Jank A. New systemic agents in dermatology with respect to fertility, pregnancy, and lactation. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Imatinib. Drug Summay. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Koren G, Carey N, Gagnon R, Maxwell C, Nulman I, Senikas V; Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Cancer chemotherapy and pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Mar;35(3):263-278. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Pistilli B, Bellettini G, Giovannetti E, Codacci-Pisanelli G, Azim HA Jr, Benedetti G, Sarno MA, Peccatori FA. Chemotherapy, targeted agents, antiemetics and growth-factors in human milk: how should we counsel cancer patients about breastfeeding? Cancer Treat Rev. 2013 May;39(3):207-11. Abstract
  6. Jiang Q, Jiang B, Chen SS, Jiang H, Qin YZ, Lai YY, Shi HX, Huang XJ. [Pregnancy outcome among patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors]. Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2012 Abstract
  7. Di Gion P, Kanefendt F, Lindauer A, Scheffler M, Doroshyenko O, Fuhr U, Wolf J, Jaehde U. Clinical pharmacokinetics of tyrosine kinase inhibitors: focus on pyrimidines, pyridines and pyrroles. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2011 Abstract
  8. Kronenberger R, Schleyer E, Bornhäuser M, Ehninger G, Gattermann N, Blum S. Imatinib in breast milk. Ann Hematol. 2009 Abstract
  9. Ali R, Ozkalemkas F, Kimya Y, Koksal N, Ozkocaman V, Gulten T, Yorulmaz H, Tunali A. Imatinib use during pregnancy and breast feeding: a case report and review of the literature. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Abstract
  10. Gambacorti-Passerini CB, Tornaghi L, Marangon E, Franceschino A, Pogliani EM, D'Incalci M, Zucchetti M. Imatinib concentrations in human milk. Blood. 2007 Abstract
  11. Russell MA, Carpenter MW, Akhtar MS, Lagattuta TF, Egorin MJ. Imatinib mesylate and metabolite concentrations in maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, placenta and breast milk. J Perinatol. 2007 Abstract
  12. Garderet L, Santacruz R, Barbu V, van den Akker J, Carbonne B, Gorin NC. Two successful pregnancies in a chronic myeloid leukemia patient treated with imatinib. Haematologica. 2007 Abstract
  13. EMEA. Imatinib. Ficha técnica. 2006 Full text (in our servers)

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