Important Safety Information

There have been reports of noninfectious pneumonitis (including some with pulmonary hypertension as a secondary event), infections, and renal failure (including acute renal failure) in patients...

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Indication AFINITOR® (everolimus) Tablets is indicated for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer (advanced HR+ BC) in combination with exemestane after failure of treatment with letrozole or anastrozole.

Key Stat

Up to
of breast cancer cases have mutations in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway; hyperactivation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway may contribute to endocrine resistance.

aBC, advanced breast cancer; ER, estrogen receptor; HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; HR+, hormone receptor-positive; MOA, mechanism of action; mTOR, mammalian target of rapamycin; NSAI, nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor.

References: 1. Afinitor [prescribing information]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp; 2017. 2. Miller TW, Rexer BN, Garrett JT, Arteaga CL. Mutations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway: role in tumor progression and therapeutic implications in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(6):224. 3. Di Cosimo S, Baselga J. Management of breast cancer with targeted agents: importance of heterogeneity. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2010;7(3):139-147.


AFINITOR is indicated for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer (advanced HR+ BC) in combination with exemestane after failure of treatment with letrozole or anastrozole.

Important Safety Information

AFINITOR is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to everolimus, to other rapamycin derivatives, or to any of the excipients.

Noninfectious Pneumonitis

  • Noninfectious pneumonitis was reported in up to 19% of patients treated with AFINITOR; some cases reported with pulmonary hypertension (including pulmonary arterial hypertension) as a secondary event. The incidence of Common Terminology Criteria (CTC) grade 3 and 4 noninfectious pneumonitis was up to 4.0% and up to 0.2%, respectively. Fatal outcomes have been observed. Monitor for clinical symptoms or radiological changes
  • Opportunistic infections such as Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP) should be considered in the differential diagnosis
  • Manage noninfectious pneumonitis by dose interruption until symptoms resolve, follow with a dose reduction, and consider the use of corticosteroids. Discontinue AFINITOR if toxicity recurs at grade 3 or for grade 4 cases. For patients who require use of corticosteroids, prophylaxis for PJP may be considered
  • The development of pneumonitis has been reported even at a reduced dose


  • AFINITOR has immunosuppressive properties and may predispose patients to bacterial, fungal, viral, or protozoal infections (including those with opportunistic pathogens)
  • Localized and systemic infections, including pneumonia, mycobacterial infections, other bacterial infections; invasive fungal infections such as aspergillosis, candidiasis, or PJP; and viral infections, including reactivation of hepatitis B virus, have occurred. Some of these infections have been severe (eg, leading to sepsis, respiratory failure, or hepatic failure) or fatal
  • Physicians and patients should be aware of the increased risk of infection with AFINITOR. Treatment of preexisting invasive fungal infections should be completed prior to starting treatment with AFINITOR
  • Be vigilant for signs and symptoms of infection and institute appropriate treatment promptly; interruption or discontinuation of AFINITOR should be considered
  • Discontinue AFINITOR if invasive systemic fungal infection is diagnosed and institute appropriate antifungal treatment
  • PJP has been reported in patients who received everolimus, sometimes with a fatal outcome. This may be associated with concomitant use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive agents; consider prophylaxis for PJP when concomitant use of these agents is required

Angioedema With Concomitant Use of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

  • Patients taking concomitant ACE inhibitor therapy may be at increased risk for angioedema (eg, swelling of the airways or tongue, with or without respiratory impairment)
  • In a pooled analysis, the incidence of angioedema in patients taking everolimus with an ACE inhibitor was 6.8% compared to 1.3% in the control arm with an ACE inhibitor


  • Stomatitis, including mouth ulcers and oral mucositis, has occurred in patients treated with AFINITOR at an incidence ranging from 44% to 78% across the clinical trial experience. Grade 3/4 stomatitis was reported in 4% to 9% of patients. Stomatitis most often occurs within the first 8 weeks of treatment
  • When starting AFINITOR, initiating dexamethasone alcohol-free oral solution as a swish and spit mouthwash reduces the incidence and severity of stomatitis  
  • If stomatitis does occur, mouthwashes and/or other topical treatments are recommended, but alcohol-, hydrogen peroxide-, iodine-, or thyme-containing products should be avoided
  • Antifungal agents should not be used unless fungal infection has been diagnosed

Renal Failure

  • Cases of renal failure (including acute renal failure), some with a fatal outcome, have been observed in patients treated with AFINITOR

Impaired Wound Healing

  • Everolimus delays wound healing and increases the occurrence of wound-related complications like wound dehiscence, wound infection, incisional hernia, lymphocele, and seroma
  • These wound-related complications may require surgical intervention. Exercise caution with the use of AFINITOR in the perisurgical period

Geriatric Patients

  • In the randomized advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer study, the incidence of deaths due to any cause within 28 days of the last AFINITOR dose was 6% in patients ≥65 years of age compared with 2% in patients <65 years of age
  • Adverse reactions leading to permanent discontinuation occurred in 33% of patients ≥65 years of age compared with 17% in patients <65 years of age
  • Careful monitoring and appropriate dose adjustments for adverse reactions are recommended

Laboratory Tests and Monitoring

  • Elevations of serum creatinine and proteinuria have been reported. Renal function (including measurement of blood urea nitrogen, urinary protein, or serum creatinine) should be evaluated prior to treatment and periodically thereafter, particularly in patients who have additional risk factors that may further impair renal function
  • Hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertriglyceridemia have been reported. Blood glucose and lipids should be evaluated prior to treatment and periodically thereafter. More frequent monitoring is recommended when AFINITOR is coadministered with other drugs that may induce hyperglycemia. Management with appropriate medical therapy is recommended. When possible, optimal glucose and lipid control should be achieved before starting a patient on AFINITOR
  • Reductions in hemoglobin, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and platelets have been reported. Monitoring of complete blood count is recommended prior to treatment and periodically thereafter

Drug-Drug Interactions

  • Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A4/PgP inhibitors (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole, clarithromycin, atazanavir, nefazodone, saquinavir, telithromycin, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, voriconazole)
  • Use caution and reduce the AFINITOR dose to 2.5 mg daily if coadministration with a moderate CYP3A4/PgP inhibitor is required (eg, amprenavir, fosamprenavir, aprepitant, erythromycin, fluconazole, verapamil, diltiazem)
  • Avoid coadministration with strong CYP3A4/PgP inducers (eg, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, rifabutin, rifapentine, phenobarbital); however, if coadministration is required, consider doubling the daily dose of AFINITOR using increments of 5 mg or less

Hepatic Impairment

  • Exposure to everolimus was increased in patients with hepatic impairment
  • For patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class C), AFINITOR may be used at a reduced dose if the desired benefit outweighs the risk. For patients with mild (Child-Pugh class A) or moderate (Child-Pugh class B) hepatic impairment, a dose reduction is recommended


  • The use of live vaccines and close contact with those who have received live vaccines should be avoided during treatment with AFINITOR

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

  • Fetal harm can occur if AFINITOR is administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise female patients of reproductive potential to avoid becoming pregnant and to use effective contraception while using AFINITOR and for 8 weeks after the last dose

Adverse Reactions

  • The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥30%) were stomatitis (67%), infections (50%), rash (39%), fatigue (36%), diarrhea (33%), and decreased appetite (30%)
  • The most common grade 3/4 adverse reactions (incidence ≥2%) were stomatitis (8%), infections (5%), hyperglycemia (5%), fatigue (4%), dyspnea (4%), pneumonitis (4%), and diarrhea (2%)

Laboratory Abnormalities

  • The most common laboratory abnormalities (incidence ≥50%) were hypercholesterolemia (70%), hyperglycemia (69%), increased aspartate transaminase (AST, 69%), anemia (68%), leukopenia (58%), thrombocytopenia (54%), lymphopenia (54%), increased alanine transaminase (ALT, 51%), and hypertriglyceridemia (50%)
  • The most common grade 3/4 laboratory abnormalities (incidence ≥3%) were lymphopenia (12%), hyperglycemia (9%), anemia (7%), decreased potassium (4%), increased AST (4%), increased ALT (4%), and thrombocytopenia (3%)

Please see full Prescribing Information.