If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), your doctor might prescribe Tecfidera as a treatment option. As a result, you may be looking for more information about this drug, such as details about its dosage.

Tecfidera is a disease-modifying therapy that treats the following conditions:

The active ingredient in Tecfidera is dimethyl fumarate. This means dimethyl fumarate is the ingredient that makes it work.

Tecfidera comes as a capsule that you swallow.

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

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

Below you’ll find information on the usual dosages of Tecfidera, including its form and strengths.

What is the form of Tecfidera?

Tecfidera is a delayed-release capsule that you swallow. This means the drug is released slowly during the day instead of all at once.

What strengths does Tecfidera come in?

Tecfidera comes in the following strengths:

  • 120 milligrams (mg)
  • 240 mg

What are the typical dosages of Tecfidera?

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

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

Dosage for relapsing-remitting MS and active secondary progressive MS

For relapsing-remitting MS or active secondary progressive MS, your starting dose of Tecfidera will be 120 mg. You’ll take this dose twice daily for 7 days.

After that, your Tecfidera dose will increase to a maintenance dosage. This will be 240 mg taken twice daily. A maintenance dosage is one that you’ll likely stay on long term.

Dosage for CIS

For CIS, your starting dose of Tecfidera will be 120 mg. You’ll take this dose twice daily for 7 days.

After that, your Tecfidera dose will increase to a maintenance dosage. This will be 240 mg taken twice daily. A maintenance dosage is one that you’ll likely stay on long term.

Is Tecfidera used long term?

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

If you miss your Tecfidera dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s close to the time for your next dose, just take the next dose. Don’t take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Tecfidera on time, try using a medication reminder. You can also use an alarm or a timer for this purpose as well as download a reminder app on your phone.

The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about Tecfidera.

How many hours should I wait before taking my next dose of Tecfidera?

The manufacturer doesn’t recommend a specific number of hours between Tecfidera doses.

But with twice-daily medication, it’s a good idea to take your doses as evenly throughout the day as possible. For example, you might take a dose at 8 a.m. and another at 8 p.m. You should also try to take your Tecfidera doses at the same time every day. This helps to keep a consistent level of the drug in your body.

For more information about when you should take your Tecfidera, talk with your doctor.

Why do my dosing instructions change after my first week of taking Tecfidera?

In the first week, you’ll take a starting dose of Tecfidera, which is typically a lower dose than what you’ll eventually take.

Doctors often prescribe a lower starting dose for some drugs so that a person’s body can get used to the drug. Then they’ll increase the dose to what is called a maintenance dose, which is taken during the rest of treatment.

For more information about Tecfidera’s starting dose and maintenance dose, see “What are the typical dosages of Tecfidera?” above.

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

  • the type of condition you’re using Tecfidera to treat and how severe it is
  • how your body reacts to Tecfidera

Tecfidera comes in capsules that you take by mouth twice daily. You should swallow the capsules whole.

You can take Tecfidera with or without food.

You may have flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color) with Tecfidera. Taking it with food might help decrease this side effect. But if you experience flushing that’s very bad or lasts a long time, contact your doctor.

If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.

For information on Tecfidera 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 Tecfidera in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also have some tips that can help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

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

Symptoms of overdose

The manufacturer reports that overdose symptoms are similar to Tecfidera side effects. Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

What to do in case you take too much Tecfidera

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Tecfidera. 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 Tecfidera for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Tecfidera without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Tecfidera 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 maintenance dose of Tecfidera ever be lowered?
  • Can I expect my Tecfidera dose to stay the same if I start taking other drugs?
  • Would any Tecfidera side effects I may develop go away if I take a smaller dose of the drug?
  • If I start taking my Tecfidera dosage with food, how long will it take for the flushing I’m having to go away?

If you have MS, consider subscribing to Healthline’s multiple sclerosis newsletter. This resource covers treatment updates, helpful self-care tips, and more.


If I start taking birth control pills, will my Tecfidera dosage change?



Your dosage of Tecfidera won’t change if you start taking birth control pills.

But while many birth control pills are safe for people with MS to take, some may be dangerous. Certain birth control pills can cause an increased risk of blood clots in people with MS.

Before you start taking birth control pills during Tecfidera treatment, talk with your doctor. They can suggest options that are right for your treatment.

Dena Westphalen, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Was this helpful?

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.