Everolimus is used to treat some forms of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, not treatable with other pharmacological therapies. Furthermore, it is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with some progressive neuroendocrine tumors of pancreatic origin, advanced renal cell carcinomas resistant to treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib, and some forms of renal cancer , complex of tuberosclerosis and (also in children) brain tumor (subependymal giant cell astrocytoma).
Furthermore, Everolimus is used in selected patients to prevent rejection after a kidney or liver transplant .
What is Everolimus?
Everolimus blocks the proliferation of cancer cells and induces apoptosis (cell suicide) by blocking the activity of the mTOR protein. It also leads to a reduction in the production of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and in the absorption of glucose.
Furthermore, Everolimus acts as an immunosuppressant : it blocks the action of some cells of the immune system which could cause the rejection of transplanted organs.
How is Everolimus taken?
Everolimus is taken orally .
Breast cancer treatment involves taking it in combination with Exemestane . Generally, however, in immunosuppressive treatment it is taken with Cyclosporine .
Side effects of Everolimus
Everolimus can slow the healing of surgical wounds , reduce the body’s ability to fight infections, reduce the amount of sperm produced and promote the appearance of hyperglycaemia or diabetes . In addition, its intake may be associated with the appearance of non-infectious pneumonia and an increased risk of developing tumor forms (especially the skin).
Other possible adverse effects include:
- back, arm or leg pain;
- diarrhea ;
- dizziness ;
- headaches ;
- loss of appetite;
- nausea ;
- He retched;
- stomach pain or discomfort
- tiredness or weakness;
- in men, problems in the sexual sphere.
It is important to contact a doctor immediately in case of:
- urticaria ;
- breathing difficulties;
- feeling of tightness or chest pain;
- swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue;
- unusual hoarseness;
- blood in the stool ;
- pain, swelling, redness or sensitivity in the legs or calves;
- changes in the appearance or size of a mole;
- fainting ;
- fast or irregular heart beat
- persistent fever, chills or sore throat;
- mood or behavior changes;
- muscle pain or weakness;
- appearance of cough or worsening of the existing one;
- numbness or tingling;
- pale stools;
- constipation, diarrhea, nausea , severe or persistent stomach pain or vomiting;
- severe or persistent dizziness or headache;
- strong or persistent weakness or tiredness;
- shortness of breath or other breathing problems;
- blisters in the mouth or on the tongue;
- stomach bloating
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet or ankles;
- swollen lymph nodes;
- kidney or urinary problems;
- bruising or bleeding;
- vision problems;
- white plaques in the mouth;
- yellowish discolouration of the skin.
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Everolimus
Everolimus is contraindicated in case of heart transplant, in the presence of some hereditary disorders and if delavirdine is taken.
During treatment, avoid eating grapefruit or drinking its juice . In addition, women of childbearing potential must use effective contraceptive methods both while taking the drug and within 8 weeks after stopping therapy.
The drug may impair your ability to drive or operate dangerous machinery . This side effect can be made worse by alcohol or by taking other medicines.
Before taking Everolimus it is important to tell your doctor:
- of any allergies to the active substance, to its excipients, to any other drug, to foods or other substances;
- of medicines, herbal medicines and supplements taken, in particular other immunosuppressants, ACE inhibitors, fibrates, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, drugs that can damage the liver, Apripitant, azole anifungins, Delavirdina, Digoxin, Diltiazem, Macrolides, Nefazodone, Nicardipina , Protease inhibitors, Telithromycin, Verapamil, Carbamazepine, Dexamethasone, Efavirenz, Idantoine, Nevirapine, Fenobarbital, Primidone, Rifamycin or Hypericum;
- if you suffer (or have suffered) from diabetes or hyperglycaemia , cholesterol or high triglycerides , bone marrow or blood problems , weakened immune systems , lung or respiratory problems , infections , liver problems or skin cancers ;
- in the case of family skin cancers ;
- in case of recent or scheduled live vaccine administration ;
- in case of contact with people who have been given live vaccines ;
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding .
It is important to inform doctors, surgeons and dentists about taking Everolimus.