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What is Everolimus

24th July 2022 by Claire O'Donnell Education


What is Everolimus


Everolimus is a targeted cancer drug that blocks cancer growth. 


You might have everolimus if you have advanced breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive. 


How everolimus works

Everolimus is a type of cancer growth blocker. It works by reducing the blood supply to the cancer and slowing down the growth of the cancer. 


How you have everolimus

You take everolimus as a tablet once a day.

You should take it at the same time each day and swallow it whole with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food. 

If you miss a dose, don't take an extra dose. Take the next prescribed dose at the usual time. 


When you have everolimus

You usually take everolimus every day for as long as it is working. 



You have blood tests before and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.


Side effects

How often and how severe the side effects are can vary from person to person. They also depend on what other treatments you're having. For example, your side effects could be worse if you're also having other drugs or radiotherapy.


  • Increased risk of getting an infection
  • Breathlessness and looking pale
  • A change in blood sugar levels
  • Sore mouth and ulcers
  • Tiredness and weakness (fatigue)
  • Skin problems
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Headaches
  • Taste changes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lung problems
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Raised cholesterol levels
  • Nose bleeds


What else do I need to know? 


Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice when you are taking this drug because it can react with the drug.

Lactose intolerance

This drug contains lactose (milk sugar). If you have an intolerance to lactose, contact your doctor before taking this medicine.

Pregnancy and contraception 

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important for women not to become pregnant while you are having treatment and for 8 weeks afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.


Don’t breastfeed during this treatment and for 2 weeks after your last dose, because the drug may come through into your breast milk.