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Joint and muscle discomfort


Hi , it has been  one and half year that i am on Imatinib and have started with joint pains and discomfort since a year ago , I feel my joint nerves are strained and cause more pain while walking/running , specially on knees & toes . 

Any one can advise if these symptoms are common and any exercise could help ? 

Thank you -Andy 

Yes indeed a  side effect of imatinib. I have found that taking magnesium and vit d3 helps some. Exercise helps some. 

Just my thoughts, Magnesium should be taken with fit D. My oncology pharmacist has done research on Curcumin and warned me NOT to take its it may interfere with the med. I had been taking it for about a week and developed black and blue bruises all over my arms. She said it has some negative effect on red blood cells.

Just to be clear.

Magnesium does not need to be taken with vitamin D. Magnesium is water soluble, vitamin D is not. Vitamn D is long lived in the blood (half life = 2 months). As long as vitamin D is sufficient (i.e. > 30 ng/ml - ideally 50-70 ng/ml), there is always plenty of vitamin D to work with magnesium. It is true that magnesium is needed to 'activate' vitamin D. So magnesium is typically the limiting nutrient. Just be sure you are not vitamin D deficient.

Regarding curcumin. Curcumin does not interefere with TKI's. It facilitates TKI action. I don't know where your 'oncologist' got that information - it's wrong. I would be very interested in reading anything anyone can find that suggests Curcumin interferes with TKI's. Curcumin 'helps' TKI's do their job:

However, Curcumin can be a potent iron chelator. This means that iron can be bound up and removed leading to anemia.

Curcumin does not last long in the blood - it is metabolized very quickly. I suspect this may be what your oncologist was referring to when mentioning 'curcumin & red blood cells'. I continue to take Curcumin despite this fact because it's benefits are clear to me and outweigh the downsides.. As long as one is not anemic because of iron deficiency,, Curcumin is good for you. Many of us, in fact, have too much iron! (meat eaters), especially men. The chelating action of Curcumin as mild as it is, may actually be useful. See link here:

Nevertheless, I do not take Curcumin when I eat iron rich food or when taking an iron supplement I am borderline anemic and I still take Curcumin. Attacking CML any way I can is more important to me. As long as hemoglobin and hematocrit are normal (which they are for me), I'll continue to take Curcumin. In fact, even if below normal, I'll still take Curcumin!

Regarding 'black and blue' bruising. If bruising occurs and it coincides only when you take Curcumin - stop taking Curcumin. Usually, the anti-coagulaton effect of Curcumin is not sufficient to cause bleeding, but if taken along with other powerful anti-coagulants such as Coumadin and aspirin, Curcumin can certainly contribute to this. However, preventing blood clots can be a benefit of Curcumin (anti- heart attack) in the same way doctors often suggest taking a baby aspriin. Curcumin, like aspirin, is also a  cox-2 inhibitor.


I'm on Tasigna. Being an inveterate consumer of curcumin and being curious to know if it is appropriate to take it with Tasigna, I wrote an email at Novartis headquarters in Switzerland.
Novartis is the company that makes Tasigna.
Here's their answer:

No interaction is known between curcumin and Nilotinib. There is no contraindication for using curcumin while you are treated with Nilotinib.
Kind Regards,
Jean-Pascal Josi
Medical Information
Product Lifecycle Services NBS
Phone 0800 633 463
Novartis Pharma Schweiz AG
Suurstoffi 14
6343 Rotkreuz

I think we all know and agree that those who produce Tasigna know better than any doctor in the world who are the contraindications of administration. Tasigna (Nilotinib) can be taken with curcumin from what the production company tells us.
Yes, it is true, as Scuba mentioned, that there is iron chelation and a slight decrease in platelets, but my first objective is our common enemy: CML. The growth of platelets and iron deficiency is the very easy part. The Bcr Abl decrease is more complicated. We all worked on it right now.
I know that curcumin supplements have helped me improve Bcr Abl.
I still take them and believe in them.