Commonly Asked Questions About AFINITOR
Commonly Asked Questions About AFINITOR
What is the difference between AFINITOR and Rapamune?
Everolimus and sirolimus are different medicines. The brand name of everolimus is AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™. Sirolimus is known by the brand name Rapamune® and is often referred to as rapamycin. Sirolimus is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of SEGA with TSC.
AFINITOR and AFINITOR DISPERZ are prescription medicines used to treat adults and children with a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) who have a brain tumor called subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) when the tumor cannot be removed completely by surgery.
Direct comparisons between Rapamune and AFINITOR cannot be made since there have not been any clinical studies comparing the two directly.
What should I avoid while taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™?
You should not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit during your treatment with AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™. It may make the amount of AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ in your blood increase to a harmful level.
Are there any other medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for SEGA with TSC?
No. AFINITOR and AFINITOR DISPERZ™ are the first and only prescription medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat adults and children with a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) who have a brain tumor called subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) when the tumor cannot be removed completely by surgery.
Are there any resources that can provide treatment or reimbursement support for me or my loved one?
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has made a commitment to help those in need access our medicines. Learn more about the reimbursement support available to people who have SEGA with TSC and are taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™.
You may be eligible for co-pay savings on your next prescription. Most commercially insured patients pay no more than $25 per month. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation will pay the remaining co-pay or coinsurance up to an annual maximum of $15,000 per calendar year. Limitations apply. This offer is not valid under Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state program. Novartis reserves the right to rescind, revoke, or amend this program without notice. To learn more about the program's terms and conditions, call 1-877-577-7756.
What other medications should a patient avoid when taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™?
Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you or your loved one take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines can affect how AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ works. Using AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ with other medicines can cause serious side effects.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your health care provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Especially tell your health care provider if you take:
- St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Medicines for:
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
- Heart conditions or high blood pressure
- Medicines that weaken your immune system (your body’s ability to fight infections and other problems)
Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one of those taken for the conditions listed above. If you are taking any medicines for the conditions listed above, your health care provider might need to prescribe a different medicine or your dose of AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ may need to be changed. You should also tell your health care provider before you start taking any new medicine.
What is the difference between AFINITOR and AFINITOR DISPERZ™?
AFINITOR is swallowed whole with a glass of water. AFINITOR DISPERZ™ tablets for oral suspension is taken as a suspension only, mixed with water, and taken by mouth. These two formulations should not be combined. Use one or the other.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™?
Before taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have or have had kidney problems
- Have or have had liver problems
- Have diabetes or high blood sugar
- Have high blood cholesterol levels
- Have any infections
- Previously had hepatitis B
- Are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. You should not receive a live vaccine or be around people who have recently received a live vaccine during your treatment with AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™. If you are not sure about the type of immunization or vaccine, ask your health care provider
- Have other medical conditions
- Are pregnant or could become pregnant. AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ can cause harm to your unborn baby. If you are able to become pregnant, you should use effective birth control while using AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™ and for 8 weeks after your last dose. Talk to your health care provider about birth control options while taking AFINITOR or AFINITOR DISPERZ™
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for 2 weeks after your last dose
SEGA With TSC
AFINITOR® (everolimus) Tablets and AFINITOR DISPERZTM (everolimus tablets for oral suspension) are prescription medicines used to treat adults and children with a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) who have a brain tumor called subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) when the tumor cannot be removed completely by surgery.
Important Safety Information
AFINITOR can cause serious side effects, including lung or breathing problems, infections, and kidney failure, which can lead to death. Patients who take an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor medicine during treatment with AFINITOR are at a possible increased risk for a type of allergic reaction called angioedema. AFINITOR can cause incisions to heal slowly or not heal well. Mouth ulcers and mouth sores are common side effects, occurring in up to 78% of patients taking AFINITOR. AFINITOR can affect blood cell counts, kidney and liver function, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Regular blood tests should be performed before starting AFINITOR and as needed during treatment to check blood cell count, kidney and liver function, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and how much AFINITOR is in the blood.
Please see additional Important Safety Information.
Please see full Prescribing Information for AFINITOR, including Patient Information.