Zykadia (ceritinib) is a prescription drug used to treat a type of non-small cell lung cancer. Zykadia comes as an oral tablet that’s typically taken once per day.

Specifically, Zykadia is prescribed to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive tumors. (Metastatic means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body from where it started.)

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

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

This section describes the usual dosage of Zykadia.

What is Zykadia’s form?

Zykadia comes as an oral tablet.

What strength does Zykadia come in?

Zykadia comes in one strength of 150 milligrams (mg).

What are the usual dosages of Zykadia?

Your doctor will likely start you on the recommended dosage of Zykadia. They may adjust your dosage based on how you react to treatment.

The information below describes the dosage most 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 non-small cell lung cancer

The typical Zykadia dosage for adults with NSCLC is 450 mg (three 150-mg tablets) taken once per day. If you have questions about your dosage of Zykadia, talk with your doctor.

Is Zykadia used long term?

Yes, Zykadia is usually a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.

Dosage adjustments

If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of Zykadia.

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

  • your liver function
  • side effects you may experience
  • other medications you take

Zykadia is available as an oral tablet. You’ll take the medication with food around the same time each day.

Do not crush, cut, or chew Zykadia tablets. Swallow them whole. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Zykadia. These products can increase the amount of the drug in your body, which can increase your risk of side effects.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Zykadia, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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.

Let your pharmacist know if you have trouble opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Zykadia in an easy-open container.

If you miss a dose of Zykadia, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s less than 12 hours from your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. Do not take two doses of Zykadia to make up for a missed dose.

If you vomit after taking a dose of Zykadia, do not take another dose. Just take your next regularly scheduled dose.

If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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

What to do in case you take too much Zykadia

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Zykadia. 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.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Zykadia’s dosage.

How long does it take for Zykadia to start working?

Zykadia starts to work after your first dose. But because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel it working in your body. Your doctor will monitor you during treatment to be sure the drug is effectively treating your condition.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your Zykadia treatment, talk with your doctor.

Can Zykadia be used for other types of cancer? If so, what’s the dosage?

It’s possible. Zykadia is not approved to treat other types of cancer. But in some cases, your doctor may prescribe it off-label to treat other types of cancer. (With off-label use, a drug is prescribed for a condition it isn’t approved to treat.)

For example, the drug is being studied for use in treating triple-negative breast cancer (a less common, more aggressive type of breast cancer).

Because Zykadia isn’t approved for treatment of other types of cancer, the drug manufacturer doesn’t provide recommended dosages for this use. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

To learn more about your treatment options for other types of cancer, including Zykadia, talk with your doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosage provided by Zykadia’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends this drug, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Zykadia without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Zykadia exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:

  • How does the dosage of Zykadia compare with that of Keytruda (pembrolizumab)?
  • Will Zykadia still work to treat my condition if I take a lower dose?
  • What are my options if I can’t tolerate the lowest dosage of Zykadia?

To learn more about Zykadia, 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.