Bosulif (bosutinib) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain forms of Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in adults. CML is a type of cancer that affects white blood cells. This type of cancer is also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Specifically, Bosulif is FDA-approved to treat:

  • newly diagnosed chronic phase Ph+ CML
  • chronic, accelerated, or blast phase Ph+ CML when other treatment hasn’t worked or caused bothersome side effects

Bosulif is a targeted therapy for CML. Targeted therapy blocks certain features of cancer cells that make them grow and multiply rapidly. Bosulif belongs to a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Bosulif comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s not available as a generic at this time.

Dosage summary

The following chart summarizes Bosulif’s dosage. Your doctor will determine the dosage that’s best for you.

Form of CMLTypical dosage
newly diagnosed chronic phase400 milligrams (mg) once per day
chronic, accelerated, or blast phase when other treatment hasn’t worked or caused bothersome side effects500 mg once per day

For information about Bosulif’s dosing, including its strengths and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Bosulif, see this article.

This article describes typical dosages for Bosulif provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Bosulif, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Bosulif form

Bosulif comes as an oral tablet.

Bosulif strengths: 100 mg, 400 mg, 500 mg

Bosulif comes in three strengths:

  • 100 milligrams (mg)
  • 400 mg
  • 500 mg

Typical dosages

The following information describes dosages that are commonly taken or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs. And they may adjust your dosage from time to time depending on various factors.

Dosage for newly diagnosed chronic phase Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)

Bosulif is prescribed for newly diagnosed chronic phase Ph+ CML in adults.

The typical recommended dosage for this use is 400 mg once per day.

Dosage for chronic, accelerated, or blast phase Ph+ CML

Bosulif is prescribed for chronic, accelerated, or blast phase Ph+ CML in adults. It’s used when other treatment hasn’t worked or caused bothersome side effects.

The typical recommended dosage for this use is 500 mg once per day.

Long-term treatment

Bosulif is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Bosulif is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Certain people taking Bosulif may need a different dosage than what’s typically recommended for their condition. The Bosulif dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re taking Bosulif to treat
  • whether you have kidney or liver problems
  • whether you experience certain side effects with Bosulif
  • how your condition responds to Bosulif

Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Bosulif dosage.

Dosage adjustments

If you have liver or kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a dose of Bosulif that’s lower than usual.

If you have certain side effects with Bosulif, your doctor may ask you to stop treatment temporarily until the side effect is managed. Your doctor will tell you when to start Bosulif again. In some cases, they may prescribe a lower dose when you restart treatment.

If Bosulif doesn’t work well enough or stops working for you, your doctor may increase your dosage to a maximum of 600 mg per day. They may increase your dose by increments of 100 mg once per day to reach a maximum of 600 mg once per day for certain conditions.

To learn more about Bosulif’s side effects, see this article.

You should take Bosulif once per day around the same time each day. This helps keep a steady level of the drug in your body so Bosulif can work effectively.

You should take Bosulif with food or just after you eat. This can be a meal or a snack. It shouldn’t contain grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can increase the amount of Bosulif in your body.

Bosulif tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not split, crush, or chew them. And do not handle any tablets that are broken or crushed. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not take antacids such as TUMS (calcium carbonate) or histamine 2 blockers such as Pepcid AC (famotidine) in the 2 hours before and after taking Bosulif. These drugs can stop Bosulif from being absorbed into your body properly, which can make it less effective.

Accessible drug labels and containers

If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Bosulif in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

If you miss a dose of Bosulif, take it as soon as possible. But if it’s less than 12 hours until your next dose is scheduled, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as usual. Do not take two doses of Bosulif together to make up for a missed dose. And do not take extra doses to make up for missed doses. Doing so can raise your risk for side effects from Bosulif.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, 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.

It’s important that you do not take more Bosulif than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.

If you take more than the recommended amount of Bosulif

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Bosulif. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Bosulif for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Bosulif without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Bosulif that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Bosulif. These additional articles might be helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.