Gilotrif (afatinib) is a brand-name drug prescribed to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults. Gilotrif comes as an oral tablet that’s typically taken once per day.

Gilotrif is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following types of metastatic NSCLC in adults:

Gilotrif belongs to a drug class called kinase inhibitors. It’s not available in a generic version.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Gilotrif, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Gilotrif, see this article.

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

Below is information about the form, strength, and dosage of Gilotrif.

Gilotrif form

Gilotrif comes as an oral tablet.

Gilotrif strengths

Gilotrif comes in three strengths: 20 milligrams (mg), 30 mg, and 40 mg.

Typical dosages

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed 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. In some cases, doctors may adjust your dosage from those shown below.

Dosage for metastatic EGFR-positive NSCLC

If your doctor prescribes Gilotrif for your NSCLC, your dosage will likely be 40 mg once per day. This is the typically recommended dosage for this condition.

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Dosage for metastatic squamous NSCLC

Gilotrif is also prescribed to help treat metastatic squamous NSCLC in some cases. The recommended dosage for this condition is also 40 mg once per day.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your dosage.

How to take Gilotrif

Gilotrif comes as a tablet that you swallow whole. Do not divide, crush, or chew the tablet. Gilotrif should be taken on an empty stomach. This means 1 hour before or at least 2 hours after a meal.

It may be helpful to take Gilotrif around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Gilotrif can work effectively.

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.

If you have questions about how to take Gilotrif, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Long-term treatment

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

Before you start taking Gilotrif, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.


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 Gilotrif in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

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

Symptoms of an overdose

Overdose symptoms of Gilotrif can include:

If you take more than the recommended amount of Gilotrif

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Gilotrif. Another option is to call America’s Poison 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.

To learn more about NSCLC treatment options, explore our lung cancer hub.

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.