We understand that people with cancer are worried about coronavirus. Here is the latest guidance. We will update it regularly.

Ask about leukaemia

Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia and Myeloproliferative diseases. She'll aim to respond within 2 working days.

Imatinib side effects-increased depression

GilliWilli74
Posted by

Hi, my mum feels that since she started taking Imatinib it’s reduced the effectiveness of her chronic depression and anxiety medication. I’ve read a few published medical papers which suggest this can happen. Any thoughts or views on this? With thanks Gill 

Caroline- Macmillan

Hi Gill, 

thank you for your question. Two things here. It depends on the anti depressant but some can have interaction with Imatinib eg Duloxetine and St. johns wart. However depression is an uncommon side effect of Imatinib. Don't forget that being diagnosed with CML can have an effect on mood as well.  Discussion with her haematology team could help and involve some dose adjustments  to help solve the issue.

I hope this helps.

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.  

GilliWilli74
Posted by

Dear Caroline my mum does take Venlafaxine 150mg x2 daily and Bupropion 150mg x1 daily. She says she is not herself. What should she do? I’m still waiting to hear back from the consultant psychiatrist in South Africa who prescribed it. Thanks Gill  

Ellen B - Macmillan

Hi ,

Many thanks for your further question to Caroline. I hope you don't mind me responding here - my name's Ellen and I work on the Community team here at Macmillan.

I wanted to post here to let you know that Caroline is aware your question is here and she'll be along to respond as soon as she's able to. 

In the meantime, I hope you're finding the Community to be a source of comfort and support.

Best wishes,

Ellen
Macmillan Community Team 

GilliWilli74
Posted by

Hi Ellen 

Thank you so much for your reply. I do appreciate all the advice and support. I look forward to hearing from Caroline as soon as reasonably possible.

With thanks 

Gill

Caroline- Macmillan

Hi Gilliwilli,

I think that you should discuss it with her consultant psychiatrist and haematologist before doing anything .I cant find anything on interactions between these drugs and imatinib but it may be the case that the diagnosis has floored her more  than she realises, and she may need them increased or modified. All those medications are also metabolised in the liver and the imatinib has the potential to interfere  with liver function thus affecting the amount in her bloodstream.

I hope this helps 

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.