If you have a certain type of leukemia, your doctor might suggest Tasigna (nilotinib) as a treatment option for you. As a result, you could be looking for more information about the drug, such as details about its dosage.
Tasigna is a prescription medication that’s used to treat certain types of Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in adults and children ages 12 months and older. Specifically, it’s used to treat:
- newly diagnosed Ph+ CML
- Ph+ CML in people who didn’t see improvement with or couldn’t tolerate certain past treatments
Tasigna belongs to a group of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
This article describes the dosages of Tasigna, as well as its form, strengths, and how to take the drug. To learn more about Tasigna, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Tasigna’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using Tasigna, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
This section covers common dosage information about Tasigna. Before you start taking Tasigna, your doctor will go over dosage and administration instructions specific to your condition.
What is Tasigna’s form?
Tasigna is available in capsules that you take by mouth. The capsules come in a bottle or blister packs.
What strengths does Tasigna come in?
Tasigna capsules are available in the following strengths:
- 50 milligrams (mg), which come in a bottle
- 150 mg, which come in blister packs
- 200 mg, which come in blister packs
What are the typical dosages of Tasigna?
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for newly diagnosed Ph+ CML
The typical dose of Tasigna for adults with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML is 300 mg. You would take this dose twice each day (about 12 hours apart) on an empty stomach. You shouldn’t eat 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking Tasigna.
Dosage for Ph+ CML in people who didn’t see improvement with or couldn’t tolerate certain past treatments
The recommended dose of Tasigna for adults who couldn’t tolerate or haven’t seen improvement with other cancer drugs is 400 mg. You would take this dose twice each day (about 12 hours apart) on an empty stomach. You shouldn’t eat 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking Tasigna.
What’s the dosage of Tasigna for children?
If your child is prescribed Tasigna, their doctor will calculate the dosage based on your child’s body surface area in square meters (m2). They’ll use your child’s height and weight to determine this measurement.
The recommended dose of Tasigna for children, regardless of what they’re using the drug to treat, is 230 mg/m2. The doctor will round the dose to the nearest 50 mg. Your child will take this amount twice each day (about 12 hours apart) on an empty stomach. They shouldn’t eat 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking Tasigna.
For children, the maximum daily dose is 800 mg (that is, 400 mg taken twice each day).
Is Tasigna used long term?
Yes, Tasigna is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Tasigna is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.
After you’ve taken Tasigna for at least 3 years, and your cancer is in remission, your doctor may suggest stopping the treatment. (Remission means a decrease in or disappearance of cancer signs and symptoms.)
Your doctor may need to adjust your Tasigna dosage if you develop any of the following:
The dosage of Tasigna you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Tasigna to treat
- your age
- body surface area (for children)
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Tasigna’s dosage?”)
You’ll take Tasigna capsules by mouth twice each day (about 12 hours apart) on an empty stomach. Studies suggest that taking Tasigna after a meal can significantly increase the concentration of the medication in your body. To help decrease the risk of serious side effects, avoid eating for at least 2 hours before and 1 hour after your dose.
You should swallow Tasigna capsules whole with a glass of water. If you have trouble swallowing the capsules, you can open them and mix the contents with a teaspoon of applesauce. Eat the mixture within 15 minutes, and don’t save any for later.
For information about Tasigna expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
If you miss a dose of Tasigna, you can take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra doses to make up for your missed dose.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Tasigna 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.
Don’t use more Tasigna than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose of this drug can include:
What to do in case you take too much Tasigna
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Tasigna. 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’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Tasigna for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Tasigna without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Tasigna 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 need to be adjusted if I have kidney problems?
- What happens if I become pregnant while taking Tasigna?
- Will my child’s dosage need to be adjusted if they gain or lose weight?
Are there any foods that may affect my dosage of Tasigna?Anonymous
You should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking Tasigna. This is because grapefruit can increase the level of Tasigna in your body. If this happens, your risk of side effects such as long QT syndrome increases.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about foods that can interact with Tasigna.Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCPAnswers 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.