What is the most important information I should know about Afinitor?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Afinitor, sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf), or temsirolimus (Torisel), or if you have problems digesting lactose or galactose (sugar). Do not use the Zortress brand of Afinitor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control while you are using Zortress and for at least 8 weeks after your treatment ends.
Before taking Afinitor, tell your doctor if you have a breathing disorder such as asthma or COPD, liver disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, or a history of skin cancer.
Do not receive a “live” vaccine while using Afinitor. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), oral polio, typhoid, chickenpox (varicella), BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin), and nasal flu vaccine. There are many other drugs that can interact with Afinitor. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.
To be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Afinitor?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Afinitor, sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf), or temsirolimus (Torisel), or if you have problems digesting lactose or galactose (sugar).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need an Afinitor dose adjustment or special tests:
- a breathing disorder, such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
- liver disease;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides.
- a personal or family history of skin cancer (melanoma).
Taking Afinitor may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer. Ask your doctor about your individual risk.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Afinitor will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Zortress if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control while you are using Zortress and for at least 8 weeks after your treatment ends.
This medication can affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.
It is not known whether Afinitor passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Afinitor.
How should I take Afinitor?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Afinitor should be taken at the same time each day. You may take Afinitor with or without food, but take it the same way each time. If you also take cyclosporine, take both medications at the same time.
Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew. The medicine from a crushed pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a crushed tablet.
Afinitor can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver and kidney function will also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature in the original container, away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep each tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you are less than 6 hours late in taking your medicine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line.
What should I avoid while taking Afinitor?
Do not receive a “live” vaccine while using Afinitor. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), oral polio, typhoid, chickenpox (varicella), BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin), and nasal flu vaccine. Afinitor may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Afinitor and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Afinitor side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest pain, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus;
- stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
- pain in your stomach, groin, lower back or side,
- swelling, rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- blood in your urine, dark colored urine, pain or burning when you urinate;
- pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or slow healing of a wound or surgical incision;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
- other signs of infection such as sore throat, flu symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, or unusual weakness.
Less serious side effects may include:
- tired feeling;
- headache, pain in your arms and legs;
- dry skin; or
- sleep problems (insomnia);
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What other drugs will affect Afinitor?
Many drugs can interact with Afinitor. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
- aprepitant (Emend);
- dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol);
- isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
- rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), or rifapentine (Priftin);
- St. John’s wort;
- an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
- other drugs that weaken your immune system;
- an antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal), or voriconazole (Vfend);
- an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), rifapentine (Priftin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
- a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
- heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), quinidine (Quin-G), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
- HIV medication such as delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz efavirenz (Sustiva), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Kaletra, Norvir), or saquinavir (Invirase); or
- seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).
This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with Afinitor. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products.