Tafinlar (dabrafenib) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain cancers with specific gene changes. These include certain types of:
- melanoma in adults
- metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in adults
- thyroid cancer in adults
- solid tumors in adults and children ages 6 years and older*
Tafinlar is typically prescribed along with the drug Mekinist (trametinib) to treat these conditions. In certain situations, Tafinlar may be used alone to treat melanoma.
The drug comes as an oral capsule. It belongs to a group of medications called kinase inhibitors.
Tafinlar is only available in the brand-name form at this time. There’s currently no generic version of the drug.
* For treating solid tumors, Tafinlar received
The following chart summarizes Tafinlar’s dosage. Your doctor will determine the dosage that’s best for you.
|Tafinlar form||Strengths||Typical dosage|
|oral capsule||• 50 milligrams (mg)|
• 75 mg
|150 mg twice per day|
For information about the dosage of Tafinlar in adults and children, including the drug’s strengths and how to take it, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Tafinlar, including details about its uses, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Tafinlar provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Tafinlar, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will determine the dosage of Tafinlar that’s right for you.
For adults, Tafinlar’s starting dosage is typically the same, regardless of the cancer being treated.
For children, Tafinlar’s starting dosage is based on body weight in kilograms (kg). (To calculate someone’s body weight in kg, divide their weight in pounds [lb] by 2.2. One kg is about 2.2 lb.)
If you develop certain side effects while taking Tafinlar, your doctor may reduce your dose. (For more details, see the “Factors that affect your dosage” section below.)
Tafinlar comes as an oral capsule.
Tafinlar comes in the following strengths:
- 50 milligrams (mg)
- 75 mg
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used 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.
Dosage for melanoma
The recommended dosage of Tafinlar for treating certain types of melanoma in adults is 150 mg twice per day.
Dosage for non-small cell lung cancer
To treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the recommended dosage of Tafinlar in adults is 150 mg twice per day.
Dosage for thyroid cancer
The recommended dosage of Tafinlar for treating certain types of thyroid cancer in adults is 150 mg twice per day.
Dosage for solid tumors
Tafinlar is approved to treat solid tumors in adults and certain children.
For this condition, the recommended dosage of Tafinlar in adults is 150 mg twice per day. To learn about the dosage of Tafinlar in children, see “Children’s dosage” right below.
Tafinlar is approved to treat solid tumors in certain children ages 6 years and older.
The recommended dosage of Tafinlar for children is based on the child’s body weight in kg. The drug is approved for use in children who weigh at least 26 kg (about 57 lb). The table below shows the usual dosage of Tafinlar in children:
|Child’s body weight||Recommended Tafinlar dosage|
|26 kg to 37 kg (about 57 lb to 82 lb)||75 mg twice per day|
|38 kg to 50 kg (about 83 lb to 111 lb)||100 mg twice per day|
|51 kg or greater (about 112 lb or greater)||150 mg twice per day|
Tafinlar is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. Depending on your type of melanoma, your doctor may recommend you take Tafinlar for up to 1 year.
If you have NSCLC, thyroid cancer, or a solid tumor, your doctor may recommend taking Tafinlar until the drug is no longer effective for your cancer. Or they may recommend you take it until you develop serious side effects from the drug.(To learn more about side effects with Tafinlar treatment, see this article.)
If you and your doctor determine that Tafinlar is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
The Tafinlar dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- side effects that you experience from Tafinlar treatment
- liver problems
- other medical conditions you may have
- body weight, in children
Your doctor may adjust your dose of Tafinlar if you have certain side effects during your treatment. Depending on the side effect and its severity, your doctor may decrease your dose of Tafinlar. Or they may recommend pausing or stopping treatment. (To learn more about side effects with Tafinlar treatment, see this article.)
Examples of these side effects include:
- skin reaction, such as a serious rash
- bleeding, such as in the digestive tract
- uveitis (swelling of the eye)
It’s also possible that your doctor may adjust your dose of Tafinlar if you have liver problems. In this case, your doctor will recommend the best Tafinlar dosage for you.
If you have questions about dosage adjustments, talk with your doctor.
Tafinlar comes as a capsule that you’ll swallow whole. Do not break, crush, or chew the capsules.
You’ll take each Tafinlar dose at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. And you’ll take your dose twice per day, 12 hours apart. For example, you may take one dose at 8 a.m. and one at 8 p.m. Taking Tafinlar every 12 hours helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so it can work effectively.
Before you start Tafinlar treatment, your doctor will discuss the administration of Tafinlar (how to take your dose). They’ll also discuss the drug’s dose and timing (when you’ll take your dose) and its frequency (how often you’ll take your dose).
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
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 Tafinlar in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss your dose of Tafinlar, your missed dose will depend on the number of hours until your next dose:
- If it’s more than 6 hours until your next dose of Tafinlar is due, take your missed dose as soon as possible. Then, continue with your regular dosing schedule.
- If it’s less than 6 hours until your next dose is due, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time.
If you missed a dose of Tafinlar and are unsure when to take your next dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
It’s important that you do not take more Tafinlar 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 Tafinlar
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Tafinlar. 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 manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Tafinlar 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 Tafinlar without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Tafinlar that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Tafinlar. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Tafinlar. For information about other aspects of Tafinlar, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Tafinlar, see this article. You can also look at the Tafinlar prescribing information.
- Details about your condition. Below are some resources that may be helpful:
- For details about cancer, see our cancer hub. Here, you can read about coping with a cancer diagnosis, as well as anxiety and other mental health aspects.
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.