Verzenio (abemaciclib) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat breast cancer. It comes as a tablet you swallow and is usually taken twice per day.

Verzenio is prescribed to treat hormone receptor-positive (HR-positive) and HER2-negative breast cancer in adults. It’s specifically used for:

For early breast cancer, Verzenio is used as an add-on with another kind of treatment such as hormone therapy.

For breast cancer that’s advanced or metastatic in adults who haven’t used hormone therapy before, Verzenio is used along with an aromatase inhibitor.

For advanced or metastatic breast cancer in people who’ve used hormone treatment unsuccessfully in the past, Verzenio is used with fulvestrant (Faslodex).

And for advanced or metastatic breast cancer following hormone therapy and chemotherapy that didn’t work, Verzenio is used alone.

The active ingredient in Verzenio is abemaciclib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) It belongs to a group of drugs called kinase inhibitors.

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

This section describes the usual dosages of Verzenio.

What’s the form of Verzenio?

Verzenio comes as a tablet you swallow.

What strengths does Verzenio come in?

Verzenio comes in four strengths:

  • 50 milligrams (mg)
  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 200 mg

What are the usual dosages of Verzenio?

Your doctor will likely start you on the recommended dosage of Verzenio for your condition. Then, if needed, they’ll adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll 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. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for breast cancer

Your dosage of Verzenio for treating breast cancer depends on whether you’re taking Verzenio with other medications to treat your condition or if you’re taking Verzenio alone.

When taking Verzenio with other medications, such as fulvestrant (Faslodex), an aromatase inhibitor, or tamoxifen, you’ll take 150 mg of Verzenio twice daily.

When taking Verzenio alone, you’ll take 200 mg twice per day.

Is Verzenio used long term?

It may be. How long you’ll take Verzenio depends on your condition and how you respond to treatment with the drug. For early breast cancer, you’ll likely take Verzenio for 2 years.

For advanced or metastatic breast cancer, you’ll likely take Verzenio long term. You’ll take the medication until you can’t tolerate it or until your condition worsens.

Dosage adjustments

You may need dosage adjustments for Verzenio in some cases. For example, if you take certain medications that interact with Verzenio, you may need a dosage adjustment.

If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may adjust your dosage of Verzenio. If you have severe kidney problems, Verzenio may not be safe for you to take.

Your doctor will order blood tests to check how your liver and kidneys are functioning before you start Verzenio. If you have questions about your dosage of Verzenio, talk with your doctor.

Save on your Verzenio prescription

Use your insurance to pay as little as $- through Verzenio’s manufacturer savings card.

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

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re taking the drug to treat
  • other medications you take
  • other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above)

Verzenio comes as a tablet you swallow. You should try to take your dose around the same time each day. This will help keep a consistent level of the drug in your body.

You can take Verzenio with or without food, but do not take it with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. This could affect how the medication works.

You should also avoid taking Verzenio with high fat, high calorie meals (those with over 800 calories). This can also affect how the drug works. Talk with your doctor about your diet and the best way to take Verzenio.

Do not cut, chew, or crush Verzenio tablets or take any cracked, damaged, or broken ones. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Verzenio, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • 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 your regular dose of Verzenio, take your next normally scheduled dose. Do not double your dose, as this could increase your risk of side effects from the drug.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Verzenio 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 Verzenio than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

What to do in case you take too much Verzenio

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Verzenio. 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 manufacturer of Verzenio. If your doctor recommends this drug, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

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

  • Would a different dosage affect my risk of side effects from Verzenio?
  • Would a lower dosage of Verzenio still work to treat my advanced breast cancer?
  • Will I need a different dosage of Verzenio if I’m taking an HIV medication?

To learn more about Verzenio, 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.