Gleevec Side Effects Injury Lawsuits. Gleevec has recently been linked to heart failure and other serious cardiac injuries. Gleevec, which is known generically as imatinib, is manufactured by Novartis and was approved by the FDA in 2001 to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML. In the first half of 2006, Gleevec generated $1.2 billion in revenue. Gleevec is the first member of a new class of agents that inhibit specific tyrosine kinase enzymes. In Europe, the drug is sold under the name Glivec and is approved to treat CML as well as gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Gleevec caused heart failure
The recent warning came after researchers found evidence that Gleevec caused heart failure in 10 patients. Rsearchers then tested Gleevec in lab dishes and in mice, both of which revealed the drug to be toxic to cardiac cells. Mice treated with Gleevec developed left ventricular dysfunction, one of the key symptoms of heart failure in which the heart fails to pump out blood completely. Heart failure is a serious and chronic condition that kills up to half of patients within five years.