Generic Name: Everolimus (ever-OH-li-mus)
Trade Name: Afinitor®
How is this drug used? Everolimus is FDA-approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) among patients whose cancer has recurred or progressed following treatment with either Sutent® (sunitinib) or Nexavar® (sorafenib). It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than for which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.
What is the mechanism of action? Everolimus belongs to a group of drugs referred to kinase inhibitors. Everolimus inhibits the serine-threonine kinase referred to as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). MTOR is involved in cellular replication, growth, and metabolism. Inhibition of mTOR with everolimus has demonstrated a reduction in the replication and spread of cancer cells.
How is everolimus given (administered)? Everolimus is given orally in the form of a 5 or 10 mg tablet. The daily dose depends on several factors, including side effects incurred from treatment, the overall health of the patient and other treatment being used. Everolimus may be taken with or without food.
Allergic-type reactions, although rare, may occur following treatment with everolimus. These reactions are characterized by difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, lightheadedness or dizziness. Patients will be monitored for these reactions.
How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with everolimus. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems, such as the liver or kidneys. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, scans or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy.
What are the common (occur in 30% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with everolimus?
What are the less common (occur in 10% to 29% of patients) side effects of treatment with everolimus?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
When should patients notify their physician?
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Copyright © 2010 CancerConnect Last updated 07/10.
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