If you have certain kinds of cancer, your doctor might suggest Xalkori as a treatment option.
Xalkori is a prescription drug used to treat the following kinds of cancer in adults:
- non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that:
- is caused by a defect in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene and
- has spread to other parts of the body
- and NSCLC that:
- is caused by a defect in the ROS1 gene and
- has spread to other parts of the body
Xalkori is also used to treat the following kind of cancer in some children and young adults:
- systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that:
- is caused by a defect in the ALK gene and
- has returned after remission or doesn’t respond to other treatments
The active ingredient in Xalkori is crizotinib. The active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
Xalkori comes as a capsule that you swallow. It belongs to a group of drugs called kinase inhibitors.
This article describes the dosages of Xalkori, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Xalkori dosing, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Xalkori’s usual dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Xalkori, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
This section covers common dosage information for Xalkori. Before prescribing this medication, your doctor will go over dosage instructions specific to your condition.
What is Xalkori’s form?
Xalkori comes as a capsule that you swallow.
What strengths does Xalkori come in?
Xalkori capsules come in two strengths:
- 200 milligrams (mg)
- 250 mg
What is the usual dosage of Xalkori?
Recommended dosages of Xalkori vary depending on several factors, including:
- the kind of cancer you have
- your height and weight
- other medical conditions you may have or medications you may take
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.
The following dosage details are specific for adults. For information on children’s dosages, see “What’s the dosage of Xalkori for children?” below.
Dosage for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
The recommended dosage of Xalkori for treating NSCLC is 250 milligrams (mg), taken twice per day.
Dosage for systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in young adults
The dosage of Xalkori for treating ALCL varies based on your body surface area. Your doctor will use your height and weight to calculate this number in square meters (m2).
The recommended Xalkori dose for ALCL in young adults (up to age 21 years) is 280 milligrams (mg) per m2. This means the actual dosage for young adults usually ranges from 200 mg to 500 mg taken twice daily.
Note: No Xalkori dosage has been determined for people with a body surface area less than 0.60 m2. And it isn’t known if Xalkori is safe for treating ALCL in adults over 21 years of age.
What’s the dosage of Xalkori for children?
Xalkori may be prescribed to treat ALCL in children over 1 year of age. The dosage for children is the same as for young adults. The recommended Xalkori dose for children with ALCL is 280 milligrams (mg) per square meter (m2). This means the actual dosage for children usually ranges from 200 mg to 500 mg taken twice daily.
Note: No Xalkori dosage has been determined for people with a body surface area less than 0.60 m2.
Is Xalkori used long term?
Yes, Xalkori is usually a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Xalkori is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. But if your cancer worsens or you have severe side effects from this medication, your doctor may have you stop taking Xalkori.
If you have serious side effects from Xalkori, your doctor may lower your dose. If these side effects happen again, your doctor may lower your dose even more.
In some cases, your doctor may have you stop taking Xalkori until your side effect symptoms improve. If these side effects are life threatening or too bothersome, your doctor will have you permanently stop taking Xalkori.
If you have kidney or liver problems, your doctor may adjust your dosage based on how well your kidneys or liver work.
Certain medications may increase the amount of Xalkori in your body, which may increase your risk of side effects.
It’s important that your doctor knows all the medications you take before they prescribe Xalkori for you. They may have you stop taking other medications that interact with Xalkori. If you can’t stop taking these medications, your doctor may adjust your Xalkori dose or suggest a different treatment option.
The dosage of Xalkori you’re prescribed depends on several factors. These can include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Xalkori to treat
- your age
- your weight
- your height
- other medications you’re taking
- side effects from Xalkori
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Xalkori’s dosage?”)
Xalkori is usually taken twice per day. But if you have certain problems with your liver or kidneys, or certain side effects, your doctor may prescribe Xalkori once per day.
You can take this medication with or without food.
You should swallow Xalkori capsules whole. Avoid opening, cutting, chewing, or crushing the capsules. Children should take Xalkori only if they can swallow capsules and are supervised by an adult.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
For information on Xalkori 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 provide medication labels that:
- have large print or 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 have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Xalkori in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you miss a dose of Xalkori, take it as soon as you remember. But if your next dose is due in less than 6 hours, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the regular time.
If you vomit after taking Xalkori, don’t take an extra dose. Take your next dose at the scheduled time.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Xalkori 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 Xalkori than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Xalkori
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Xalkori. 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, 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 drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Xalkori for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Xalkori without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Xalkori 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 medications I currently take affect my Xalkori dosage?
- Will I have fewer side effects if I take Xalkori once per day instead of twice per day?
- When is the best time of day to take Xalkori?
I have kidney disease. How will this affect my Xalkori dosage?Anonymous
Your doctor will evaluate your kidney function before prescribing Xalkori for you. They may adjust your dose based on the results of these tests and the kind of cancer you have.
If you have mild to moderate kidney disease, your doctor may prescribe Xalkori at the regular recommended dose. If you have more severe kidney issues, they may prescribe a lower dose. Your adjusted dose may also differ based on the kind of cancer you have.
If you’re taking Xalkori to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the recommended adjusted dose is 250 milligrams (mg) once daily.
If you’re taking Xalkori to treat systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), your adjusted dose will vary based on your body surface area. Your doctor will use your height and weight to calculate this measurement in square meters (m2).
Talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your dosage of Xalkori.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.