Everolimus: The top-bracket immunosuppressant

Everolimus, generally sold under the trade name Afinitor, is classified as an “mTOR kinase inhibitor”. It is a key medication that functions as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection of organ transplants by decreasing the activity of the immune system. It also finds usage in the treatment of renal cell cancer and other tumours, especially progressive neuroendocrine ones. It treats cancer by inhibiting the cells from multiplying and by decreasing the blood supply to the affected parts. A highly researched drug, it is also heavily used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer.  (1)



The medicine is usually consumed orally before or after the consumption of food. It is available in four variants of tablet strength: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. The actual dosage is prescribed by the doctor based on the patient’s condition. It is not advisable to self-medicate and over-dose yourself with this potent medication without an authorised prescription from your doctor. (2)

Side effects

Like any drug, Everolimus too, might sometimes cause a few minor side effects. Inform your doctor in case some of the below-mentioned symptoms are excessively severe (3):

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Wheezing
  • Reduction of the ability to find taste in food
  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Persistent headache
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Dry skin or heavy hair fall
  • Acne
  • Pain in the arms, legs, back or other joints
  • Muscle cramps
  • Missed or irregular menstruation. It could also cause heavy bleeding during periods.
  • Difficulty in maintaining an erection (for men)
  • It could also decrease fertility both in men and women


It is advisable to exercise some precautionary measures while consuming this potent medicine (3)

  • Apprise your physician if you are allergic to any of the components of this drug.
  • Ensure you inform your doctor about all the other medications you are on before commencing on any course of this drug. Also, inform if you ever had Diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney or liver disease, as well as any other condition that bars you from digesting food containing sugar, starch or dairy products.
  • It is best to avoid this drug during pregnancy or even planning to get pregnant. It is also prudent to refrain from using this drug if one is breastfeeding.
  • In the case of any surgery, including dental surgery, make sure you inform the doctor you are on Everolimus.
  • A patient might suffer from mouth ulcers during the treatment with Everolimus, especially in the first eight weeks. The medical practitioner will prescribe other medicines to control this.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or consume grapefruit juice while taking this medication.


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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical teams strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.