Everolimus (Afinitor)

Updated 
August 31, 2015
Reviewed By: 

Everolimusinfo-icon (Afinitor) is a type of targeted therapyinfo-icon called an mTORinfo-icon inhibitor, or a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor. It stops cancer cells from dividing and may block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Everolimus was the first mTOR inhibitor approved for treating metastaticinfo-icon breast cancer.

How Everolimus Works

mTORinfo-icon is a proteininfo-icon kinase, a type of enzyme that helps control cellinfo-icon growth. In some cancers, mTOR-activated proteins work abnormally and encourage cancer cells to grow and spread. mTOR also directs nutrients to the cancer cells, helping to support them.

Everolimusinfo-icon works to slow or stop mTOR’s role in the growth of cancer cells. Paired with aromatase inhibitors like exemestaneinfo-icon (Aromasininfo-icon), everolimus slows cell growth by blocking nutrients and directions from mTOR, as well as the estrogeninfo-icon that encourages growth.

How Everolimus Is Given

Everolimusinfo-icon is a pill you can take by mouth once a day. You usually need to take it at the same time each day. Your doctor will recommend a specific dosage.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Everolimusinfo-icon is an effective treatment but it has some possible serious side effects. When choosing treatments a treatment, you and your doctors should discuss how you can keep your quality of lifeinfo-icon high while you manage the disease.

Common side effects may include:

Less common side effects may include:

Before starting everolimus, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter medicines.

You should avoid becoming pregnant while you are receiving everolimus. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant or may be pregnant while you are undergoing treatment.

Your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon can help you manage your side effects. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.