Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for certain types of multiple sclerosis in adults. Tecfidera comes as a delayed-release oral capsule that’s typically taken twice per day.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tecfidera to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. These forms include:

Tecfidera is also FDA-approved for treating clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). This condition involves an episode of nervous system-related symptoms that could indicate the start of MS. However, CIS doesn’t always become MS.

Tecfidera is a disease-modifying treatment for MS that belongs to a drug class called immunomodulators. This drug is available in a generic version.

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

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

* Active means the condition is currently causing symptoms.

Below is information about typical Tecfidera dosages for MS and CIS. The following table briefly summarizes details of the Tecfidera dosages discussed in this section.

Starting dosage of TecfideraMaintenance dosage of Tecfidera*
120 milligrams (mg) orally two times per day240 mg orally two times per day

* Tecfidera’s maintenance (ongoing) dosage should begin 7 days after starting therapy with Tecfidera.

Tecfidera form

Tecfidera comes as a delayed-release oral capsule. Delayed-release capsules release the drug they contain slowly into the body.

Tecfidera strengths

Tecfidera is available in two strengths: 120 mg and 240 mg.

Many drugs, including the 240-mg Tecfidera capsules, come in a 30-day supply. However, the 120-mg Tecfidera capsules come in a bottle containing a 7-day supply. This is because you typically only use the 120-mg strength for the first week of treatment unless your doctor recommends a dosage adjustment. See the “Typical dosages” section below for details.

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage of Tecfidera. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the recommended amount for treatment.

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 dosing schedule to fit your needs.

Dosage for multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome

The recommended starting dose of Tecfidera to treat MS or CIS is 120 mg twice per day. Then your doctor will have you take a dose of 240 mg twice per day, starting on day 8. You will continue to take 240 mg twice per day as the maintenance dosage.

Long-term treatment

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

Dosage adjustments

If you have severe side effects after taking 240 mg of Tecfidera twice daily, your doctor may decrease your dosage to 120 mg twice daily. After 4 weeks, they’ll have you try taking 240 mg twice daily again. If this still causes bothersome side effects, your doctor may have you stop taking Tecfidera.

If you miss a dose of Tecfidera, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s nearly time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next scheduled dose as you typically would. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. You should take Tecfidera twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

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.

Tecfidera comes as an oral capsule that you’ll take twice per day. Typically, you’ll take one dose in the morning and one dose in the evening. There is no specific recommendation for how many hours apart you should take the doses.

You can take Tecfidera with or without food. However, taking Tecfidera with breakfast and dinner may help you remember to take your dose. Doing so may also decrease side effects such as nausea and flushing. (For more about Tecfidera’s side effects, see this article.)

If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. Your doctor or pharmacist can also suggest ways to make swallowing pills easier.

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

If you take more Tecfidera than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. It’s important that you do not take more Tecfidera than your doctor advises.

Symptoms of an overdose

Overdose symptoms of Tecfidera are the same as side effects that can happen and include:

If you take more than the recommended amount of Tecfidera

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Tecfidera. 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.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Tecfidera 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 Tecfidera without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Tecfidera that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.

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

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.