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Everolimus is used in combination with exemestane to treat hormone receptor-positive advanced breast cancer (cancer spread in other parts of body) in postmenopausal women in whom other treatments are not effective. It is also used in combination with other medicines to treat adults with neuroendocrine tumors (cancer originating from pancreas), advanced kidney cancers where other treatments are not effective, renal angiomyolipoma (benign tumor of kidney), tuberous sclerosis complex (genetic disease that causes benign tumor growth in brain, kidney, heart, eyes, skin and lungs). It is also used in prevention of rejection of kidney and liver transplantation.

How it works

Everolimus belongs to class of medications called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors. Everolimus reduces blood supply to tumor thereby blocking tumor or cancer growth. It also inhibits immune cells (T cells) which can cause rejection of transplanted organs.

Common side effects

Acne, Altered taste, Dry mouth, Dry skin, Hair loss, Headache, Insomnia, Nail disorder, Nose bleed, Weakness, Weight loss, Constipation, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Do not start everolimus and consult your doctor if you have liver problems, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, had a recent surgery or have unhealed wound after surgery, have infection, previously had hepatitis, are pregnant or breast-feeding or have intolerance to some sugars.
  • Seek medical advice if you have increased thirst or increased frequency of urination, if you get any infection, suffer from shortness of breath, cough or fever, need to receive any vaccination after taking everolimus.
  • Everolimus may affect male or female fertility; consult your doctor if you are planning to have a child.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery while taking everolimus as it may cause fatigue.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is everolimus a chemotherapy drug?
Everolimus is a targeted therapy drug (mTOR inhibitor) and not a traditional chemotherapeutic agent. 

Q. Is everolimus cytotoxic or biologic?
Everolimus is not cytotoxic, it is a biological therapy for breast cancer.
Q. How is everolimus administered?
Everolimus is administered 10 mg once daily orally as tablet with a glass of water.

Q. How long does everolimus work?
 Generally everolimus works for about 30 hours, however it may depend on the individual taking the medicine.

Content on this page was last updated on 15 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)