If you have a certain type of lung cancer, your doctor might suggest Alecensa (alectinib) as a treatment option for it.

Alecensa is a prescription medication that’s used in adults to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that’s anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive. Metastatic means the cancer has spread from your lungs to other areas of your body.

Alecensa contains the active drug alectinib. It belongs to a group of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

This article describes Alecena’s dosage, including its strength and how to take it. To learn more about Alecensa, see this in-depth article.

Note: This article covers Alecensa’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

Below is information about Alecensa’s recommended dosage.

What is Alecensa’s form?

Alecensa comes as a capsule that you take by mouth.

What strength does Alecensa come in?

Alecensa comes in a 150-milligram (mg) strength.

What’s the typical dosage of Alecensa?

Your doctor will typically start you on a certain dosage. Then they’ll adjust your dosage based on how your body responds to Alecensa.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

The usual starting dosage of Alecensa is 600 mg taken twice per day, with food.

Is Alecensa taken long term?

Yes, Alecensa is typically taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Alecensa is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll take it long term.

But if you develop severe side effects, your doctor will likely stop your Alecensa treatment.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may reduce your dose of Alecensa if you have certain health conditions or serious side effects. These include severe liver disease and serious kidney problems.

If you continue to have serious side effects at a lower dose, your doctor will likely stop your Alecensa treatment and recommend a different drug.

The dosage of Alecensa you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • how effective the drug is for your condition
  • other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Alecensa’s dosage?”)
  • other medications you may be taking
  • side effects caused by Alecensa

If you have questions about your dosage of Alecensa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Alecensa capsules are taken by mouth. You should swallow Alecensa capsules whole. Don’t open, crush, or chew the capsules.

If you have trouble swallowing pills, ask your doctor or pharmacist for suggestions. You can also review these tips on swallowing pills.

For information on Alecensa expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.

If you miss taking a dose of Alecensa or you’ve vomited soon after taking a dose,* don’t take another dose. Just skip that dose, and take your next scheduled dose as usual.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Alecensa 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.

* If you often have vomiting with Alecensa, talk with your doctor about how to manage this.

Do not take more Alecensa than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.

What to do in case you take too much Alecensa

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Alecensa. 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 sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Alecensa for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Alecensa without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Alecensa 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 dosage of Alecensa be adjusted if I have kidney disease?
  • Can Alecensa be prescribed to be taken just once each day instead of twice each day?
  • Would a lower dosage of Alecensa reduce my risk of side effects?


Will a lower dosage of Alecensa still be effective for my lung cancer?



Studies of alectinib, the active ingredient in Alecensa, have shown it to be effective at lower doses to treat lung cancer. (An active ingredient is what makes a medication work.)

If you’re having bothersome side effects with Alecensa treatment, be open with your doctor about them. This will help your doctor to tailor treatment specific to your condition, including possibly lowering your dose of Alecensa.

Elizabeth Scheffel, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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