Everolimus (By mouth)


Everolimus (e-ver-OH-li-mus)

Treats cancer, including cancer of the kidneys, pancreas, breasts, and brain. Used with other medicines to keep your body from rejecting a transplanted kidney or liver.

Brand Name(s)

Afinitor, Afinitor Disperz, Zortress

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Tablet for Suspension

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Take this medicine the same way every day. This means take it at the same time, and always take it with food or always without food.
  • Swallow the regular tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Do not swallow the tablet for suspension. It must be dissolved in water before you take it. If you are preparing the oral suspension for another person, wear disposable gloves. There are 2 ways to prepare the suspension:
    • Small glass: Use a medicine cup to measure 25 milliliters (mL) of water. Pour the water into a small glass. Put the tablet in the water without breaking or crushing it. Wait 3 minutes, then gently stir the mixture to break up the tablet. Drink the mixture right away. After drinking, refill the glass with the same amount of water. Drink the water right away so you get all the medicine.
    • Oral syringe: Use a 10 mL syringe. Pull out the plunger and put the tablet in the barrel of the syringe. Replace the plunger and push it until it touches the tablet. Fill a small glass with 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of water. Place the syringe tip in the water and draw up 5 mL of water. Hold the syringe with the tip up and draw in 4 mL of air. Place the syringe in an empty glass with the tip up and wait 3 minutes. Slowly turn the syringe up and down 5 times. Place the syringe in the mouth and slowly give the dose. Fill the syringe with 5 mL of water from the small glass. Hold the tip up and add 4 mL of air. Swirl the water in the syringe to rinse any extra medicine from the sides. Place the syringe in the mouth and slowly give the liquid. Use a new syringe for each dose.
  • Do not use the regular tablet and the tablet for suspension together. Use only one dosage form of this medicine.
  • If you have a kidney or liver transplant, you may have to take this medicine for the rest of your life to prevent rejection of the organ. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor.
  • If you have a kidney transplant, this medicine will be given together with another medicine called cyclosporine. Take both medicines at the same time.
  • If you have a liver transplant, this medicine will be given together with another medicine called tacrolimus. Take both medicines at the same time.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Afinitor┬« or Afinitor┬« Disperz and it is less than 6 hours from the time you normally take it, you may still take the dose. If it is more than 6 hours, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep your medicine in the original package until you are ready to use it.
  • The tablet for oral suspension must be given within 60 minutes after it is dissolved in water. If it is not used during this time, throw it away and prepare another dose.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how everolimus works. Tell your doctor if you are using amprenavir, aprepitant, atazanavir, carbamazepine, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, digoxin, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, midazolam, nefazodone, nelfinavir, octreotide, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, ritonavir, saquinavir, St John's wort, telithromycin, verapamil, or voriconazole.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 8 weeks after you stop treatment.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, any type of infection (such as hepatitis B), diabetes, high cholesterol, or a history of skin cancer or lymphoma. Tell your doctor if you are lactose intolerant or have Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Noninfectious pneumonitis
    • Infections
    • Delayed wound healing
    • Kidney failure
    • An increased risk of skin cancer and lymphoma
    • An increased risk of blood clots in the new kidney (kidney transplant)
    • Changes in blood sugar
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, fast, slow, uneven, or pounding heartbeat
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate, painful urination, cloudy or bloody urine
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst or hunger, muscle cramps, shakiness, nausea, vomiting
  • Fever, chills, cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lumps in your neck, armpits, or groin, pain in your groin, lower back, or side
  • Sores, ulcers, or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Unexplained weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Acne or a rash
  • Diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, stomach pain
  • Earache, headache
  • Joint or muscle pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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