Everolimus is the generic name for the trade name drug Afinitor. In some cases, health care professionals may use the brand name Afinitor when referring to the generic drug name everolimus.
Everolimus is an antineoplastic chemotherapy drug. This medication is classified as an "mTOR kinase inhibitor." (For more detail, see "How Everolimus Works" below).
WhatEverolimus Is Used For:*
- Breast Cancer: Treatment (in combination with exemestane) of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women following failure of letrozole or anastrozole therapy.
- Neuroendocrine Tumors (NET): Treatment of certain advanced neuroendocrine tumors of pancreatic, gastrointestinal, or lung origin.
- Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): Treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib.
How Everolimus Is Given
- Everolimus is given as a tablet by mouth.
- Take at the same time each day.
- Everolimus may be taken with or without food, however it is important to remain consistent with the choice.
- Swallow whole with a glass of water, do not chew or crush tablets.
- Avoid contact with or exposure to crushed or broken tablets.
Important things toremember about the side effects of everolimus:
- You will not get all of the everolimus side effects mentioned below.
- Everolimus side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
- Everolimus side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy is complete.
- Everolimus side effects may be quite manageable. There may be options to minimize or prevent them.
- Before starting everolimus treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
- Do not take aspirin, or products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking everolimus.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Everolimus is a pregnancy category C (use in pregnancy only when benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the fetus).
How Everolimus Works
Targeted therapy is a result of about 100 years of research dedicated to understanding the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. To date, cancer treatment has focused primarily on killing rapidly dividing cells because one feature of cancer cells is that they divide rapidly. Unfortunately, some of our normal cells divide rapidly too, causing multiple side effects.