Afinitor is an FDA-approved medication used to treat certain types of cancer in the pancreas, kidney, brain, and breast. It is also used to treat partial seizures. It contains an active ingredient called everolimus and comes in two forms: Afinitor and Afinitor Disperz.
Generic name: everolimus (E ver OH li mus (a FIN i tor))
Brand name: Afinitor, Afinitor Disperz
Drug class: MTOR inhibitors, Selective immunosuppressants
Afinitor is used with exemestane (Aromasin) to treat breast cancer. It is used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma in adults who have already tried the anticancer drugs sunitinib (Sutent) or sorafenib (Nexavar). It is also approved to treat renal angiomyolipoma and neuroendocrine tumors in the pancreas, lungs, stomach, and gut in adults.
Afinitor Disperz is used to partial seizures in adults and children ages 2 years and older with tuberous sclerosis who are taking antiseizure drugs. The two forms of Afinitor are approved to treat subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA).
How To Take Afinitor
Afinitor should be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and follow all guidelines on your prescription label. Your doctor may adjust your dose from time to time. Afinitor should be taken at the same time every day. You can take the drug with or without meals, but you must take it exactly the same way every time.
A regular tablet should not be taken with a dispersible tablet. This drug should only be used in one form. Any instructions for use that came with your medicine should be read and followed carefully. If you don’t understand something, go to your doctor or pharmacist.
Afinitor alters the way your immune system works, which can raise your risk of bleeding or infection. Medical testing will be required on a regular basis.
If you’ve ever had hepatitis B, taking Afinitor can make it active again or make it worse. While using this medication and for several months after stopping, you may need periodic liver function tests.
While taking Afinitor, surgical incisions and other wounds may take longer to heal. This medicine may need to be stopped for 1 week before and 2 weeks following surgery. Pay attention to your doctor’s directions.
Keep the original container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light. Dispersible tablets that haven’t been used should be stored in the foil blister pack.
The following side effects can be associated with taking Afinitor. They include mild and severe side effects.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects.
Mild side effects include:
- loss of appetite
- swelling of your hands, arms, feet, ankles, or legs
- nausea and vomiting
- weight loss
- weakness or lack of energy
- metabolic syndrome
- pain in your abdomen
- increased risk of infections
Severe side effects include:
- allergic reaction
- kidney failure
Severe side effects are uncommon, but they can happen. If you experience any major side effects, contact your doctor at once. If your symptoms are life-threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, dial 911 or your local emergency number.
Afinitor has the potential to induce serious and even deadly adverse effects. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor straight once. Fever, chills, skin rash, joint discomfort, and weariness are all indicators of infection. kidney problems—swelling, little or no urination; lung problems—cough, chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath; or liver disorders, such as a loss of appetite, dark urine, skin or eye discoloration, or upper stomach pain.
If you use an “ACE inhibitor” heart or blood pressure medicine while taking Afinitor, you may be more prone to experience an allergic response. Inform your doctor about all of your existing medications, as well as any that you begin or stop taking.
If you have asthma or COPD, liver disease (or a history of hepatitis B), a current infection, diabetes or excessive blood sugar, or high cholesterol, tell your doctor before taking this prescription.
If you are pregnant, avoid taking everolimus. It has the potential to harm the unborn child. Use effective birth control while taking this medication and for at least 8 weeks after it has finished working.