Erleada (apalutamide) is a prescription drug used to treat certain types of prostate cancer. The drug comes as a tablet. It’s usually taken once per day.

Erleada belongs to a group of drugs called anti-androgens. It’s used in adult males* to treat:

“Castration-sensitive” means that the prostate cancer grows and spreads in response to male sex hormones called androgens. Testosterone is an androgen. These cancer cells may also die when there’s a lack of androgens.

With castration-resistant prostate cancer, the survival, growth, and spread of the cancer do not depend on androgens.

Erleada comes as a tablet that you swallow. Its active ingredient is apalutamide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

This article describes the dosage of Erleada, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Erleada, see this in-depth article.

* In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

This section describes the usual dosages of Erleada. Keep reading to learn more about Erleada’s dosage.

What’s Erleada’s form?

Erleada comes as a tablet that you swallow.

What strengths does Erleada come in?

Erleada comes in two strengths: 60 milligrams (mg) and 240 mg.

What’s the usual dosage of Erleada?

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

Dosage for prostate cancer

The usual dosage of Erleada is 240 mg once per day.

If your doctor prescribes Erleada, they’ll want to lower your androgen (male* sex hormone) levels. If you haven’t already had surgery to remove both testicles, your doctor will prescribe a medication to lower the production of hormones in your testicles.

* In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

Is Erleada used long term?

Yes, Erleada may be given long term if it’s working well. Erleada should slow or stop prostate cancer from growing.

If your cancer is not growing in size or spreading, and you don’t have serious side effects from Erleada, your doctor may prescribe this medication long term.

If you have questions about the long-term use of Erleada, talk with your doctor.

Dosage adjustments

Dosage adjustments may be necessary if you have a severe side effect from Erleada.

If you experience a side effect that requires treatment, your doctor will likely tell you to stop taking Erleada.

Once you recover and are no longer experiencing the side effect, your doctor may suggest that you start taking Erleada again but at a lower dose.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Erleada’s dosage.

Is Erleada’s dosage similar to the dosages of Xtandi or Zytiga?

The forms and how often you take each medication are similar. Erleada, Xtandi (enzalutamide), and Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) are all taken once per day. They’re all available as tablets. Xtandi also comes as a capsule.

The dose in milligrams (mg) for each drug differs. However, Erleada, Xtandi, and Zytiga contain different active ingredients. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

It’s not meaningful to compare dosages between drugs with different active ingredients. Each drug is recommended at a dose that has proven to be effective in studies.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for Erleada to start working?

Erleada starts to work after your first dose. You probably won’t notice whether the drug is working or not, but your doctor will continue to monitor the size and spread of your cancer. If the cancer isn’t growing and spreading, then Erleada is likely working.

You’ll take your prescribed dose of Erleada once per day, preferably at the same time each day. Do not crush or split the tablet. Swallow it whole. You can take Erleada with or without food.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets

If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Erleada’s manufacturer provides the following options:

If your doctor prescribes the 240-milligram (mg) tablet, you may dissolve the tablet in water. It’s important to follow these steps:

  1. Place the 240-mg tablet in a cup. Do not crush or split the tablet.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of plain water to completely cover the tablet. The water should not be carbonated. Wait 2 minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of either orange juice, applesauce, or water. Stir the mixture.
  4. Swallow the mixture right away.
  5. To be sure you’ve taken the whole dose, rinse the cup with a little water and drink it.

If you’re taking the 60-mg tablet, you may do the following:

  1. Place the 60-mg tablet in a cup. Do not crush or split the tablet. Add 4 ounces of applesauce to the cup and stir.
  2. Wait 15 minutes, then stir again.
  3. Wait another 15 minutes and stir again until the tablet pieces are very small.
  4. Using a spoon, swallow the mixture right away.
  5. To be sure you’ve taken the whole dose, rinse the cup with a little water and drink it.

It’s important to make sure that Erleada is not stored in the applesauce or left dissolved in the water. For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Erleada, see this article.

If you have any questions about how to take Erleada, talk with your doctor. And for more tips on how to swallow tablets, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If you miss a dose of Erleada, take the dose as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose entirely. Take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time.

Do not double your dose if you’ve missed a dose. If you’re unsure when to take Erleada after missing a dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Erleada on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Erleada than your doctor prescribes, as this can cause harmful effects.

What to do in case you take too much Erleada

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Erleada. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Erleada for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Erleada without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Erleada 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:

To learn more about Erleada, see these articles:

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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.