How Does It Work?Protein kinases are enzymes found in the body that regulate cell function, including cell growth. Everolimus works by blocking the action of a specific protein kinase called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).
When mTOR is not functioning properly, as is the case in certain types of cancers and tumors, cells grow and multiply abnormally. mTOR also promotes blood vessel growth into tumors, which supplies cancer cells with nutrients and energy, and gives them a way to spread to other areas of the body.
By inhibiting mTOR, everolimus stops cancer and tumor cells from growing and multiplying. It also cuts off the blood supply to cancer cells, which may help slow down the spread of the cancer.
Everolimus works to prevent transplant rejection by weakening the immune system. When certain white blood cells, called lymphocytes, encounter a foreign material, they change into an active form and begin to reproduce rapidly so there are more of them available to fight the invading substance. Everolimus blocks the activation and rapid reproduction of the lymphocytes, thus preventing an immune response against the newly transplanted kidney or liver.
When and How to Take This MedicationSome general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with everolimus include the following:
- This medication comes in tablet form and dispersible tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day, depending on the particular product you are using. The dispersible tablets are used to make a suspension just before each dose.
- You can take this medicine with or without food; however, always take it the same way (either always with food or always without food).
- For the regular tablets, do not cut, chew, or crush everolimus tablets. Swallow them whole with a glass of water.
- For the dispersible tablets, carefully follow the package instructions to prepare the suspension, either using an oral syringe or a small cup. If the suspension is not taken within 60 minutes of preparation, it must be discarded.
- Try to take your doses at the same time each day to keep an even level in your blood.
- For this drug to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.