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Imatinib effect on vision?


For some time now I have been feeling my vision has become worse. Especially after I moved up to 600 mg Imatinib. I went to my optician last week and she was quite surprised of the change. I have less ”refractive error”, e.g. see ”better” now but glasses are then wrong, and she said it was a big change.

Could Imatinib be involved? Or is it just age 🙂? Can all TKI potentially affect vision? Has anyone else experienced this?

How long have you been on imatanib?

How high was your white cell count at diagnosis?

What age are you?


Generally short sightedness will not get worse as you age, but you can need bifocals. This is already happening to me in my early 40s.

Imatanib can cause eye bleeds which impact vision but indirectly and usually transitory ie the eye bleeds clear up

Very high white cell counts can cause retinopathy which might not present till some time after the CML diagnosis (this happened to me and I can tell you tonnes about that but its pretty rare)

15 months on Imatinib (whereof last 3 on 600 mg). WBC 323 at diagnosis on the scale where 3.5-8.8 is normal. I’m 45 and I already have had bifocals for 2-3 years.

Eyesight was ok at diagnosis, and it wasn’t until maybe last 6 months or so I started noticing it.

Maybe its just a coincidence and not Imatinib? 

But I’ve decided to get new glasses on a leasing contract that includes free change of glasses if needed, just in case. I’m also waiting for a PCR result, and there may be a discussion around changing TKI. This way it doesn’t matter if TKI is changed and if some of them may impact eyesight. 

hi again

Very similar story and stats to me ,  i did not get eye problems till 6 months after diagnosis. 

It likely isnt the same as what i had but if you are experiencing floaters or a kind of cloudyness, i suggest you get your retina checked.