If you have a certain kind of cancer, tumor, or seizure, your doctor might suggest Afinitor (everolimus) as a treatment option for you. As a result, you could be looking for more information about the drug, such as details about its dosage.
Afinitor is a prescription medication used to treat the following in adults:
- breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative
- kidney tumors in adults who have tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)
- kidney cancer that hasn’t responded to treatment from certain other cancer medications
- certain tumors of the pancreas, stomach, gut, or lungs
- certain kinds of benign brain tumors that don’t require or can’t be removed with surgery in adults who have TSC
Afinitor Disperz, another form of Afinitor, is used to treat the following in adults and some children:
- focal seizures (also known as partial seizures) in people who have TSC*
- certain kinds of benign brain tumors that can’t be removed with surgery in people with TSC
* For this use, Afinitor Disperz is taken along with other seizure medications.
Afinitor and Afinitor Disperz belong to a group of drugs called kinase inhibitors. Afinitor comes as a tablet that you swallow. Afinitor Disperz comes as a tablet that you dissolve in water and then drink.
This article describes the dosages of Afinitor, as well as its strengths and how to take the drug. To learn more about Afinitor, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Afinitor’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using Afinitor, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
This section covers common dosage and administration information for Afinitor and Afinitor Disperz. Before you begin taking this medication, your doctor will go over dosing instructions for your specific condition.
What are the forms of Afinitor?
Afinitor comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.
Afinitor Disperz comes as a tablet that you dissolve in water and then drink. (This mixture is called a suspension.)
What strengths does Afinitor come in?
The chart below shows the available strengths for Afinitor and Afinitor Disperz:
|• 2.5 milligrams (mg)
• 5 mg
• 7.5 mg
• 10 mg
|• 2 mg
• 3 mg
• 5 mg
What are the typical dosages of Afinitor?
Typically, your doctor will base your dosing schedule on the condition being treated and other factors. If you have certain health conditions, you may need a reduced dose compared with what might usually be prescribed. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Note: The following dosage information is specific to adults. For detail on children’s dosages, see “What’s the dosage of Afinitor for children?” below.
Dosage for breast cancer
The recommended dosage of Afinitor for breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative is 10 mg once daily. For treating this condition, Afinitor is used with Aromasin (exemestane), another breast cancer medication.
Dosage for kidney tumors
The recommended dosage of Afinitor for kidney tumors in adults who have tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is 10 mg once daily.
Dosage for kidney cancer
The recommended dosage of Afinitor for kidney cancer that hasn’t responded to treatment from certain other cancer medications is 10 mg once daily.
Dosage for certain tumors of the pancreas, lung, stomach, or gut
The recommended dosage of Afinitor for certain tumors of the pancreas, stomach, gut, or lungs is 10 mg once daily.
Dosage for certain kinds of benign brain tumors
The dosage of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz for certain kinds of benign brain tumors in adults who have TSC varies based on body surface area. Your doctor will use your height and weight to calculate this measurement in square meters (m2).
The recommended dosage of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz for this condition is 4.5 mg/m2. Using this, your doctor will figure out your dose, rounding to the nearest strength Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz comes in. You’ll take this dose once daily.
Your doctor will check your blood levels of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz regularly. This is to make sure there is enough of the drug in your body. If your levels of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz are too low, your doctor may adjust your dose.
Dosage for focal seizures
The dosage of Afinitor Disperz for focal seizures (also known as partial seizures) in adults who have TSC varies based on body surface area. Your doctor will use your height and weight to calculate this measurement in square meters (m2).
The recommended dose of Afinitor Disperz for focal seizures is 5 mg/m2. Using this, your doctor will figure out your dose, rounding to the nearest strength Afinitor Disperz comes in. You’ll take this dose once daily.
Your doctor will check your blood levels of Afinitor Disperz regularly. This is to make sure there is enough of the drug in your body. If your levels of Afinitor Disperz are too low, your doctor may adjust your dose.
What’s the dosage of Afinitor for children?
If your child’s doctor prescribes Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz, they’ll calculate the dosage based on body surface area. The doctor will use your child’s height and weight to determine this measurement in square meters (m2). Then they’ll figure out a dose for your child based on the following:
- For certain kinds of benign brain tumors in children with TSC, the recommended dose of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz is 4.5 mg/m2.
- For certain kinds of focal seizures in children with TSC, the recommended children’s dose of Afinitor Disperz is 5 mg/m2.
The doctor will round the calculated dose to the nearest strength Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz comes in. Your child should take this dose once daily.
The doctor will check your child’s blood levels of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz regularly. This is to make sure there is enough of the drug in your child’s body. If the Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz levels are too low, the doctor may adjust your child’s dose.
Is Afinitor used long term?
Yes, Afinitor is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Afinitor is safe and effective, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.
If your condition gets worse or you develop severe side effects, your doctor may have you stop taking this medication.
You may need your Afinitor dosage modified if you:
If you miss a dose of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz, what you should do depends on when you remember your dose.
If it’s within 6 hours of the time you were supposed to take the drug, go ahead and take it. If it’s more than 6 hours after the scheduled time for your dose, skip that dose. Then take a dose of Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz at your regularly scheduled time.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Afinitor on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
Do not use more Afinitor than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Afinitor
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Afinitor. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosage of Afinitor you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Afinitor to treat
- the severity of side effects from Afinitor
- your body surface area
- other medications you may be taking
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Afinitor’s dosage?”)
You’ll typically take Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz once daily, and you can take either form with or without food. But try to take the drug consistently with or without food at about the same time each day.
Depending on the condition you’re treating, you’ll take either Afinitor or Afinitor Disperz. Do not combine the two forms of the drug to complete your dose.
If you take this medication with food, avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice. These can increase the levels of Afinitor in your body, which can increase your risk of side effects.
For information on Afinitor expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
How to take Afinitor
Swallow Afinitor tablets whole with a full glass of water. Avoid breaking or crushing the tablets.
How to take Afinitor Disperz
Before taking Afinitor Disperz, you’ll prepare your dose as a suspension (mixture) that you drink. Be sure to take Afinitor Disperz immediately after you prepare the mixture. If you don’t take the dose within 60 minutes of preparing it, discard it. (Ask your doctor about safe ways to dispose of the suspension.)
You can take Afinitor Disperz from an oral syringe (a syringe you use to take the drug by mouth) or a glass, as described below. For more details about taking Afinitor Disperz, see the video of dosage instructions on the manufacturer’s website.
Using an oral syringe
To prepare Afinitor Disperz using an oral syringe:
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Wear gloves and avoid touching the medication if you’re preparing the medication for someone else.
- Take the plunger off a 10-milliliter (mL) oral syringe.
- Place up to 10 milligrams (mg) of Afinitor Disperz in the barrel of the syringe without breaking or crushing the tablets. (If your dose is higher than 10 mg, use another syringe for the rest of the dose. You’ll need to repeat the steps that follow for the extra syringe.)
- Replace the syringe plunger and push it down until it touches the tablets.
- Pour water into a glass.
- Place the tip of the syringe into the water and draw about 5 mL of the liquid into the syringe.
- Remove the syringe from the glass and draw about 4 mL of air into the syringe.
- Place the syringe tip up in an empty glass.
- Wait 3 minutes for the tablets to dissolve.
To take the medication:
- Gently turn the syringe up and down five times.
- With the tip up, push slowly on the plunger to remove the air in the syringe.
- Place the syringe in your mouth and slowly push the plunger to take the mixture.
Next, do the following to make sure you take all of the medication:
- Draw another 5 mL of water and 4 mL of air into the same syringe.
- Swirl the syringe and use it to take the mixture.
- Wash and dry your hands again.
Using a glass
If you prefer to drink your Afinitor Disperz dose from a glass:
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Wear gloves and avoid touching the medication if you’re preparing it for someone else.
- Without breaking or crushing the tablets, place your prescribed dose in a glass with 25 mL of water.
- Wait 3 minutes for the tablets to dissolve.
- Stir the suspension with a spoon and drink it within 60 minutes.
- Add another 25 mL of water to the same glass and stir with the same spoon.
- Drink this liquid right away.
- Wash and dry your hands again.
The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Afinitor for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Afinitor without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Afinitor exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Will my child’s Afinitor Disperz dosage change as they grow?
- Will any side effects I have ease if I take a lower dose of Afinitor?
- Does my age affect my Afinitor dosage?
- How often will you need to check my Afinitor blood levels?
Will I need to stop taking Afinitor if my blood sugar is high?Anonymous
Maybe, but it depends on how Afinitor affects your blood sugar. In most cases, if you have high blood sugar, your doctor will recommend pausing treatment. When your blood sugar level returns to normal, you may start taking Afinitor again, but at a lower dose. If you continue to have high blood sugar despite the reduced dose, your doctor may switch you to a different medication.
Your doctor will regularly monitor you for side effects such as high blood sugar while you’re taking Afinitor. If you have questions about risks of side effects with Afinitor or monitoring you may need during your treatment, talk with your doctor.Dena Westphalen, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.