Tasigna (nilotinib) 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). The drug is suitable for adults and children ages 1 year and older.
In adults, Tasigna is approved to treat:
- Ph+ CML in the chronic phase or accelerated phase. In this case, past treatment with the drug imatinib (Gleevec) did not work or caused side effects that caused treatment to stop.
- Newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in the chronic phase.
In children who are ages 1 year and older, Tasigna is approved to treat:
- Ph+ CML in the chronic phase or accelerated phase. In this case, past treatment with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) did not work or caused side effects that caused treatment to stop.
- Newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in the chronic phase.
Tasigna comes as an oral capsule. It contains the active drug nilotinib, which belongs to a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
There is no generic form of Tasigna at this time. Tasigna is available in a brand-name form only.
Keep reading for information about the dosage of Tasigna, including its strengths and how to take the drug. For a comprehensive look at Tasigna, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Tasigna provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Tasigna, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The standard dose of Tasigna depends on what condition it’s treating. Please see the information below for specific conditions and dosages.
Tasigna comes as an oral capsule.
Tasigna comes in three strengths: 50 milligrams (mg), 150 mg, and 200 mg.
Typically, your doctor will start you on the dosage of Tasigna recommended for your condition. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
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 newly diagnosed Ph+ CML in adults
The recommended dosage of Tasigna for adults who are newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is 300 mg twice per day.
Dosage for Ph+ CML in adults who couldn’t tolerate or didn’t have improvement with past treatments
The recommended dosage of Tasigna for Ph+ CML that has been treated before is 400 mg twice per day. The same dosage is given to people who couldn’t tolerate or didn’t have improvement with past treatments for Ph+ CML.
The children’s dosage of Tasigna is the same whether it’s your child’s first treatment for Ph+ CML or if past treatments did not work. The dose is 230 mg per square meter (m2) twice daily. This amount is rounded to the nearest 50 mg dose up to a maximum of 400 mg.
Your child’s doctor will calculate their dose of Tasigna using a body surface area calculation based on your child’s height and weight.
Tasigna is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Tasigna is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
If you miss a dose of Tasigna, skip your missed dose and take your next dose at the scheduled time. Don’t take more than one dose to make up for the missed dose. Doing so may increase your risk of serious side effects.
To help make sure that 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.
The Tasigna dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Tasigna to treat
- your age
- other medications you’re taking
- height and weight (for children)
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Tasigna dosage.
The dosage of Tasigna may need adjustment if you have:
- QT prolongation (a type of abnormal heart rhythm)*
- changes in blood counts, such as neutropenia or thrombocytopenia
- changes in blood levels of different enzymes such as lipase, amylase, bilirubin, and hepatic transaminases
- hepatic (liver) problems
Tasigna’s dosage may need adjustment if you also take certain medications with Tasigna. These include:
- drugs that inhibit a liver enzyme called CYP3A4, such as ketoconazole (Ketozole)
- drugs that prolong the QT interval
Before starting Tasigna, talk with your doctor about other medications you take.
Tasigna comes as an oral capsule that you’ll swallow.
You can also split open Tasigna capsules and mix the contents with 1 teaspoon of applesauce. You should not mix any other foods with the drug. You should swallow the Tasigna and applesauce mixture right away (within 15 minutes of mixing).
It’s recommended that you take your dose of Tasigna on an empty stomach. This means you should not eat for 2 hours before and 1 hour after you take your dose of Tasigna. Taking the drug with food may increase your risk for an abnormal heart rhythm called QT prolongation. Tasigna has a
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for the dosage and administration of Tasigna.
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 Tasigna in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you take more Tasigna than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you don’t take more Tasigna than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Tasigna can include:
If you take more than the recommended amount of Tasigna
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Tasigna. 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 that the drug manufacturer provides. If your doctor recommends Tasigna 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 Tasigna without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Tasigna that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Tasigna. These additional articles might be helpful to you:
- More about Tasigna. For information about other aspects of Tasigna, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Tasigna compares with Sprycel, read this article.
- Details about leukemia. For more information about your condition, see our cancer hub, as well as our list of leukemia articles.
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.