If you’re looking at treatment options for a certain kind of cancer, your doctor might talk with you about Tafinlar.

Tafinlar is a prescription medication that’s used on its own to treat melanoma in adults.

Tafinlar is also used with the drug Mekinist (trametinib) in adults to treat the following types of cancer in certain situations:*

* For this use, Tafinlar can be used when the cancer has certain gene mutations (abnormal changes).

The active ingredient in Tafinlar is dabrafenib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

This article describes the dosage of Tafinlar, as well as its strengths and how to take the drug. To learn more about Tafinlar, including types of melanoma it’s used to treat, see this in-depth article.

Note: This chart highlights the basics of Tafinlar’s dosage. Be sure to keep reading for more detail. And keep in mind that this article covers Tafinlar’s standard dosage schedule, which is provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But always follow the dosing instructions your doctor prescribes.

Tafinlar formStrengthsRecommended dosage
Capsule that you swallow• 50 milligrams (mg)
• 75 mg
150 mg twice per day, taken at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal

Below is information about Tafinlar’s recommended dosage.

What is Tafinlar’s form?

Tafinlar comes as capsules that you swallow.

Tafinlar strengths: 50 mg and 75 mg

Tafinlar capsules are available in two strengths: 50 milligrams (mg) and 75 mg.

What are the usual dosages of Tafinlar?

The information below describes 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 melanoma

For treating melanoma, the typical Tafinlar dose is 150 mg taken twice per day.

You may take Tafinlar with Mekinist (trametinib), depending on whether your melanoma can be removed with surgery. For more information on how Tafinlar is used to treat melanoma, check out this article.

Dosage for non-small cell lung cancer

For treating non-small cell lung cancer, you’ll likely take 150 mg twice per day. For this use, you’ll take Tafinlar with Mekinist.

Dosage for thyroid cancer

For treating anaplastic thyroid cancer, the typical dosage is 150 mg of Tafinlar taken twice per day. For this use, you’ll take Tafinlar with Mekinist.

Is Tafinlar used long term?

Yes, Tafinlar is usually a long-term treatment. In most cases, you’ll take Tafinlar either until you have bothersome side effects or your cancer gets worse during treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Tafinlar is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.

In certain situations, Tafinlar may be used for up 1 year to treat melanoma. For more information on how Tafinlar is used to treat melanoma, check out this article.

Dosage adjustments

If you experience certain side effects during treatment, you may need a Tafinlar dose reduction.

If you have bothersome side effects while taking Tafinlar, talk with your doctor. They can determine whether reducing your dose could help ease your symptoms.

The dosage of Tafinlar you’re prescribed may depend on whether you have side effects during treatment. Your doctor may reduce your dose to see if this help manage your symptoms.

If you have bothersome side effects during your Tafinlar treatment, talk with your doctor.

Tafinlar comes as capsules that you swallow. You’ll take a dose twice daily, ideally 12 hours apart. You should take your dose at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. This is because taking Tafinlar with food can lower the amount of Tafinlar in your body and make the medication less effective.

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

Accessible drug containers and labels

If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code that 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 have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Tafinlar in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also have some tips that can help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

If you miss a dose of Tafinlar, try and take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s less than 6 hours until you’re supposed to take your next dose, skip the missed dose, and take your next dose at its regular time. You shouldn’t take more than one dose of Tafinlar at once. Doing so could raise your risk of side effects from the drug.

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

Don’t use more Tafinlar than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.

What to do in case you take too much Tafinlar

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Tafinlar. 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 usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Tafinlar for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Tafinlar without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Tafinlar 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:

  • Are there other medications that may affect my Tafinlar dose?
  • What’s an example of a lower dose that I could take if I have side effects from Tafinlar?
  • Is there a best time of day to take my Tafinlar dose?
  • Should my dosage change if Tafinlar isn’t working well enough for me?

Q:

If I have diabetes, should I take a lower dose of Tafinlar?

Anonymous

A:

In most cases, having diabetes doesn’t mean you need to take a lower dose of Tafinlar.

It’s important to note that Tafinlar may cause high blood sugar. In some people, this can lead to diabetes. Or if you already have diabetes, taking Tafinlar could make your condition worse.

High blood sugar is usually managed by adjusting your diabetes treatment plan rather than adjusting your Tafinlar dosage. For example, your doctor may increase the dosage of your diabetes medications or prescribe additional diabetes drugs. But in some cases, your doctor may lower your Tafinlar dosage to see if this helps manage your blood sugar.

If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about managing your blood sugar while you’re taking Tafinlar.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers 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.