Many patients treated with imatinib, used in cancer treatment, are using several other drugs that could interact with imatinib. Our aim was to study all the drug–drug interactions (DDIs) observed in patients treated with imatinib.
We performed 2 observational studies, between the 1st January 2012 and the 31st August 2015 in the Midi-Pyrénées area (South Western France), using the French health insurance reimbursement database and then the French Pharmacovigilance Database (FPVD).
A total of 544 patients received at least 1 reimbursement for imatinib. Among them, 486 (89.3%) had at least 1 drug that could potentially interact with imatinib. Paracetamol was the most frequent drug involved (77.4%). Proton pump inhibitors, dexamethasone and levothyroxine, were found in >10% of patients. In the FPVD, among a total of 25 reports of ADRs with imatinib recorded in the Midi-Pyrénées area, 10 (40%) had potential DDIs with imatinib. Imatinib was most frequently prescribed by hospital physicians and drugs interacting with imatinib, by general practitioners.
Our study showed that at least 40% of the patients treated with imatinib were at risk of DDIs and that all prescribers must be cautious with DDIs in patients treated with imatinib. During imatinib treatment, we particularly recommend to limit the dose of paracetamol at 1300 mg per day, to avoid the use of dexamethasone, and to double the dose of levothyroxine.