Mavenclad (cladribine) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat certain types of multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s usually taken no more than 10 days over the course of about a year.

Mavenclad is used in adults to treat relapsing forms of MS, such as:

The active ingredient in Mavenclad is cladribine. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Mavenclad belongs to a group of drugs called antimetabolites.

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

Mavenclad’s dosing regimen for multiple sclerosis (MS) is described below.

What is Mavenclad’s form?

Mavenclad comes as a tablet that you’ll swallow whole.

What strength does Mavenclad come in?

Mavenclad tablets come in a strength of 10 milligrams (mg).

What are the typical dosages of Mavenclad?

The information below describes Mavenclad dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine how often you take Mavenclad and the best dosage to fit your needs.

Your doctor will calculate your dose based on your weight in kilograms (kg). For reference, 1 kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb). Mavenclad’s total recommended dose is 3.5 mg per kg, divided into two treatment courses per year.

Each treatment course has two cycles. During each cycle, you’ll typically take one or two Mavenclad tablets daily for 4 or 5 days.

Exactly how many days your cycles last and how many tablets you’ll take per day depends on your weight. You should not take more than two Mavenclad tablets per day.

The timing of Mavenclad treatment courses and cycles is described below. Make sure to follow instructions from your doctor about your specific treatment plan.

First treatment course:

  • First cycle: This cycle can be started at any time.
  • Second cycle: You’ll start this cycle 23–27 days after the last dose of your first cycle.

Second treatment course:

  • First cycle: You’ll start this cycle at least 43 weeks after the last dose of your first treatment course.
  • Second cycle: You’ll start this cycle 23–27 days after the last dose of the first cycle in your second treatment course.

The dosing table below shows some Mavenclad dosing examples by weight. For more weight ranges and doses, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Weight rangeDose per cycle:
First cycle
Dose per cycle:
Second cycle
40 kg to less than 50 kg (about 88 lb to less than about 110 lb)40 mg (4 tablets)40 mg (4 tablets)
70 kg to less than 80kg (about 154 lb to less than about 176 lb)70 mg (7 tablets)70 mg (7 tablets)
110 kg and above (about 243 lb and above)100 mg (10 tablets)100 mg (10 tablets)

Is Mavenclad used long term?

After two treatment courses taken during the course of about 1 year, it’s not recommended to take Mavenclad again for at least 2 years. This is because the drug can increase your risk of certain types of cancer.* The safety of restarting Mavenclad more than 2 years after completing your second treatment course is unknown.

Your doctor can give you details about how long you can expect to take Mavenclad.

* Mavenclad has a boxed warning about cancer risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information, see “Boxed warnings” at the top of this article.

Mavenclad comes as a tablet that you’ll swallow whole. You should not chew, crush, or split the tablets.

You can take Mavenclad with or without food. You should take it at least 3 hours apart from any other drugs that you take by mouth.

Mavenclad is a cytotoxic drug (a drug that kills living cells), and it should be handled carefully. Use the following precautions when taking each dose:

  • Make sure your hands are dry when you remove the tablets from the packaging.
  • Swallow the tablets right away.
  • Do not handle the tablets for very long, and do not put them down on any surfaces before swallowing.
  • Wash your hands after touching Mavenclad tablets or packaging.

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

If you miss one dose of Mavenclad, skip the dose and take it the next day. Your treatment cycle will be 1 day longer.

If you miss taking your dose for 2 days in a row, take your single dose the next day. Your treatment cycle will be 2 days longer.

Any time you miss a dose of Mavenclad, tell your doctor. They can explain how your treatment cycle will change and how to take the rest of your doses. You should not take two doses of Mavenclad in 1 day.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Mavenclad 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 Mavenclad than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.

The effects of taking too much Mavenclad aren’t known, as studies did not report any overdoses.

What to do in case you take too much Mavenclad

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Mavenclad. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison 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 dosage provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Mavenclad for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

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

  • Does my dosage of Mavenclad need to change if I’m taking other medications?
  • Does my Mavenclad dose need to change during my second treatment course if I gain or lose weight?
  • How is the dosing of Mavenclad different from other multiple sclerosis treatments?

To learn more about Mavenclad, see these articles:

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Q:

Since Mavenclad is only given in two treatment courses over the course of about a year, is it working when I’m not taking the medication?

Anonymous

A:

Yes, Mavenclad works to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) in between treatment courses.

In fact, it’s been shown that levels of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell involved in causing MS symptoms) are lowest 2–3 months after the start of each treatment cycle. Each Mavenclad treatment course consists of two treatment cycles.

If you have questions about Mavenclad’s effectiveness for your MS, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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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.