No Longer a Bitter Pill to Swallow

Gleevec being formulated into a sublingual

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Gleevec (imatinib) is among the most widely prescribed medications to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in both children and adults. Problem is, it's really hard for kids to swallow this oral medication, but that's about to change.

Kedem Pharmaceuticals is working with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Gleevec, to turn the oral medication into a sublingual formulation that's easier for children to take. 

"Ask your pharmacist about all the different formulations of your medicine."

Gleevec is used to treat a number of blood cancers, most notably CML. The drug is given in pill form and this is where the problem lies.

Children shy away from taking the medication - which must be given daily over a long period of time - because it's a big pill and tastes bad.

Now the medicine is being reformulated to dissolve under the tongue.

Kedem, a specialty pharmaceutical company that specializes in sublingual drug delivery, said in a news release announcing the initiative: "Our sublingual formulation with taste masking features makes the drug acceptable and pleasant in taste for the children with chronic dosage requirements."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 13, 2012
Last Updated:
November 8, 2012