Afinitor Warnings and Precautions
Tell your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, a history of hepatitis B, or plans to receive a vaccination before taking Afinitor. Other precautions for safely using this medicine include warnings of potential allergic reactions and drug interactions. This medicine can also cause other complications, such as potentially life-threatening lung problems and kidney failure.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Afinitor® (everolimus) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- High cholesterol
- An infection of any kind
- A history of hepatitis B
- Plans to receive a vaccine or will be in close contact with someone who will be receiving a vaccine
- Anemia or other blood cell problems
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With AfinitorSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
- Afinitor can cause serious and potentially life-threatening lung problems. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop any breathing problems, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, a new or worsening cough, or chest pain. Your healthcare provider may temporarily stop treatment and restart you at a lower dose.
- Because this medicine weakens the immune system, you will be more likely to develop infections during treatment, including pneumonia or other bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Because these infections may be serious and life-threatening, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop signs of infection, such as fever, body aches, or chills.
- If you have had hepatitis B in the past, Afinitor may reactivate your infection. Contact your healthcare if you have signs of hepatitis B, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Pale stool
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Pain in the upper-right area of the abdomen (stomach).
- Your healthcare provider will perform blood tests before you start this drug, and periodically during treatment, to monitor for potentially serious Afinitor side effects. Blood tests may be used to check your blood cell counts, liver function, kidney function, cholesterol level, and blood sugar level. Your healthcare provider may also want to check your Afinitor blood levels. Make sure to keep all of your medical appointments.
- Afinitor can cause mouth sores and ulcers. Tell your healthcare provider about any pain, sores, or swelling in your mouth. Your healthcare provider can recommend something to help the problem. Do not use any mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide, as they can make your symptoms worse.
- There have been reports of kidney failure in people taking this medication. To avoid this complication, your healthcare provider will monitor your kidney function before you begin treatment and periodically thereafter.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, as you may need a lower Afinitor dosage. If you have severe liver disease, this drug may not be the best option for you.
- People taking Afinitor should not receive certain vaccinations or immunizations. It is also advisable to avoid close contact with people who recently received certain vaccines. Check with your healthcare provider before getting any vaccine while taking this medication, or before coming in close contact with someone who is receiving a vaccination.
- This product may react with a number of other medications (see Afinitor Drug Interactions).
- Afinitor is a pregnancy Category D medication. This means it may harm an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits before beginning treatment (see Afinitor and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Afinitor passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Afinitor and Breastfeeding).