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Everolimus is a medication used to treat various conditions, including certain types of cancer and immune system disorders. Like many medications, it carries certain risks and potential side effects. Some common risks associated with Everolimus include:

  • Immunosuppression: Everolimus can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections. It’s important to monitor for signs of infection and take precautions to avoid exposure to illnesses.
  • Kidney Problems: Everolimus may cause kidney damage or impair kidney function. Regular monitoring of kidney function is typically recommended while taking this medication.
  • Risk of Wound Healing: Everolimus can interfere with the body’s ability to heal wounds. It’s important to inform healthcare providers if undergoing surgery or experiencing any wounds while taking this medication.
  • Metabolic Changes: Everolimus may cause changes in blood sugar levels and lipid levels (such as cholesterol and triglycerides), which can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
  • Potential for Interactions: Everolimus may interact with other medications, including certain antibiotics, antifungal agents, and immunosuppressants. It’s important to inform healthcare providers of all medications being taken to avoid potentially harmful interactions.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Common side effects of Everolimus include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms can sometimes be severe and may require medical attention.
  • Skin Reactions: Everolimus may cause skin problems such as rash, itching, and acne-like lesions.

It’s essential for individuals taking Everolimus to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider and to undergo regular monitoring to manage any potential complications effectively.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Everolimus is prescribed for several medical conditions, primarily as an immunosuppressant and an anti-cancer medication. Here are some common reasons it may be prescribed:

  • Immunosuppression: Everolimus is often prescribed to prevent rejection in patients who have received organ transplants. It works by suppressing the body’s immune response to the transplanted organ, reducing the risk of rejection.
  • Cancer Treatment: Everolimus is used in the treatment of several types of cancer, including advanced kidney cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and certain types of brain tumors. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells by blocking a protein called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), which plays a role in cell division and growth.
  • Treatment of Non-Cancerous Conditions: Everolimus is also used to treat non-cancerous conditions such as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of benign tumors in various organs. In TSC, everolimus can help shrink the size of these tumors.

It’s important to note that Everolimus should only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as it can have significant side effects and interactions with other medications.

How should this medicine be used?

The usage of Everolimus can vary depending on the condition being treated and individual patient factors. However, it is typically taken orally, either as a tablet or a liquid, once daily at the same time each day. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the dosage and frequency of Everolimus. Do not adjust the dose or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor first.
  • Take with or without Food: Everolimus can be taken with or without food, but it should be taken consistently in the same manner each day.
  • Swallow Whole: If you are taking Everolimus tablets, swallow them whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets.
  • Do Not Miss Doses: Try to take Everolimus at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in your bloodstream. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but do not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose.
  • Storage: Store Everolimus tablets or liquid at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the container tightly closed when not in use.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your doctor will likely monitor your condition and adjust your dosage of Everolimus as needed. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments and laboratory tests as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Precautions: Be aware of potential side effects of Everolimus, including changes in blood cell counts, increased risk of infections, mouth sores, and changes in kidney function. If you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking Everolimus, notify your doctor promptly.

Always communicate with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Everolimus properly. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific medical needs.

Other uses for this medicine

Other uses for Everolimus include:

  • Preventing Organ Rejection: Everolimus is used in transplant medicine as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection of transplanted organs such as the kidney, liver, and heart.
  • Rare Diseases: Everolimus has been approved for use in certain rare conditions like subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and angiomyolipoma associated with TSC, when surgery is not an option.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking Everolimus, it’s essential to follow specific precautions to ensure safe and effective use:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions: Take Everolimus exactly as prescribed. Do not change the dose or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Regular monitoring: Your doctor will monitor your blood levels of Everolimus and may adjust your dose based on your response and any side effects.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can increase the levels of Everolimus in your blood, increasing the risk of side effects. Avoid consuming grapefruit or its juice while taking Everolimus.
  • Avoid live vaccines: Everolimus can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Avoid receiving live vaccines while taking Everolimus. Consult your doctor about which vaccines are safe for you.
  • Notify your doctor of any new symptoms: Contact your doctor if you experience new or worsening symptoms, such as fever, chills, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, unusual bruising or bleeding, unusual tiredness, or signs of infection.
  • Inform your healthcare providers: Make sure all your healthcare providers are aware that you are taking Everolimus, including dentists and pharmacists. This helps them make informed decisions about your treatment.
  • Avoid pregnancy and breastfeeding: Everolimus can harm an unborn baby. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss the risks and benefits of Everolimus with your doctor. It is also not known whether Everolimus passes into breast milk, so breastfeeding while taking Everolimus is not recommended.

Always consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking Everolimus.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • While taking everolimus, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet. There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with everolimus, but it’s advisable to follow a healthy eating plan recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, as they may interact with everolimus and increase the risk of side effects.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Everolimus, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Everolimus, like many medications, can cause side effects. Common side effects may include:

  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak is a common side effect of Everolimus.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite while taking Everolimus.
  • Mouth Sores: Everolimus can sometimes cause mouth sores or ulcers.
  • Skin Problems: Skin rash, acne, dry skin, and itching are possible side effects of Everolimus.
  • Diarrhea: Some individuals may experience diarrhea while taking Everolimus.
  • Infections: Everolimus can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections such as respiratory infections or urinary tract infections.
  • High Blood Sugar: Everolimus can increase blood sugar levels, which may lead to symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, or blurry vision.
  • High Cholesterol and Triglycerides: Everolimus may raise levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
  • High Blood Pressure: Some people may develop high blood pressure while taking Everolimus.
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome: This condition may cause redness, swelling, pain, or blisters on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
  • Changes in Blood Counts: Everolimus can affect blood cell counts, leading to anemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelet count.
  • Liver and Kidney Problems: Everolimus can affect liver and kidney function in some individuals.

These side effects can vary in severity and may not occur in everyone taking Everolimus. It’s essential to discuss any concerns or side effects you experience with your healthcare provider, as they may be able to provide guidance or adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of Everolimus:

  • Storage: Store Everolimus tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Everolimus tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Instead, consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for proper disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Attention: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe side effects after taking Everolimus, seek medical attention immediately. Contact your local poison control center or go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.
  • Symptoms of Overdose: Symptoms of an overdose may include severe dizziness, fainting, difficulty breathing, or seizures. It’s essential to act quickly and get medical help as soon as possible.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Instructions: Take Everolimus exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider will likely schedule regular check-ups to monitor your progress and check for any side effects or complications associated with Everolimus treatment.
  • Avoid Grapefruit: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact with Everolimus and lead to potentially harmful effects. Avoid consuming grapefruit products while taking Everolimus unless your healthcare provider advises otherwise.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Make sure to inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including dentists and pharmacists, that you are taking Everolimus. This helps to prevent potential drug interactions and ensures that you receive appropriate medical care.
  • Keep Appointments: Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider to ensure the effectiveness and safety of your Everolimus treatment.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about Everolimus, you can help ensure the safe and effective use of this medication.

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