Zortress is an oral tablet made up of an immunosuppressant called everolimus. This medication is also known as Certican internationally, and can be purchased as the brand choice or as its generic alternative in 0.25mg or 0.75mg.
Zortress is prescribed usually with cyclosporine, steroids, or other medications to help prevent an organ from being rejected following a kidney or liver transplant. After a kidney or liver transplant, your immune system may sense your new organ as a foreign tissue and because of that, may try to reject it by making antibodies try to kill the new organ.
Zortress (everolimus) is effective at preventing the rejection of organs following a transplant due to its ability to temporarily weaken the immune system until your body recognizes the organ as one of its own.
Your doctor will tell you before prescribing you Zortress (everolimus) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions very carefully; they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget. Do not take this medication for longer than prescribed, or in smaller or larger amounts. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Keep up with frequent medical tests that are required while being treated with this medication.
Zortress is commonly taken twice a day. Take this medication at evenly spaced intervals (every 12 hours) with a full glass of water (8 ounces). You may take the medication with or without food, but it must be taken the same way each time. Do not crush or chew a Zortress tablet as they must be swallowed whole.
Store at room temperature away from risks of moisture, heat, and light.
Do not use Zortress (everolimus)
Do not use Zortress if you are allergic to everolimus or sirolimus.
Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required
To ensure this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had problems digesting lactose or galactose, high cholesterol or triglycerides, liver disease, a heart transplant, or skin cancer in you or a family member.
Using this medication can cause an increased risk of serious infections or getting certain cancers such as lymphoma or skin cancer. Speak to your doctor to find out what your risk is.
This medication may harm an unborn baby; you should use effective birth control while being treated with Zortress and for at least 8 weeks following your last dose. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Zortress may affect fertility in both men and women; however, it is still important to use birth control.
It is unknown if this medication will pass into breast milk or if it will harm a nursing infant. You should avoid breastfeeding while being treated with Zortress.
Zortress can cause a blood clot to occur in the vessels of your new organ; watch for signs and tell your doctor if you believe you may have a blood clot in your new organ. (See side effects).
Common side effects of Zortress (everolimus) may include:
swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet; anemia, infections; urination problems; high blood pressure, increased cholesterol or triglycerides; stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation; or headache.
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Zortress (everolimus) may include:
new or worsening cough, wheezing, breathing problems; redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or slow healing of a wound or surgical incision; easy bruising, unusual bleeding;
blood clot in the blood vessels of your transplanted organ - fever with nausea or vomiting, blood in your urine, dark colored urine, little or no urination, or pain in your stomach, groin, lower back, or side;
high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, headache, blurred vision; or
low red blood cells (anemia) - pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.
If you have any of the above side effects or signs of complications, contact your doctor right away.
Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.
What other medication may interact with Zortress?
Other medications that may interact with Zortress include cyclosporine or others medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, St. John's wort, an antibiotic or antifungal medicine, cholesterol medication, heart or blood pressure medicine, HIV medication; seizure medicine, or tuberculosis medication.
Can I receive live vaccines while using Zortress?
No. Do not receive any type of live vaccine while using this medication. The vaccine may not be as effective and may not full protect you from disease. Some live vaccines include vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox, zoster, and nasal flu.
What should I avoid while using Zortress?
Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds; this medication may make it easier for you to develop skin cancer. If you must be in the sun, wear sunscreen and sun protective clothing.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, you may take it as soon as you remember, unless your next dose is soon; then you may skip the missed dose. Do not double up on medication during your next dose to make up for the missed dose.