Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. These forms include:
Tecfidera is a disease-modifying treatment for MS. It contains the active drug dimethyl fumarate.
Tecfidera comes as an oral capsule. There are currently no generic versions of Tecfidera.
* “Active” means the condition is currently causing symptoms.
The chart below summarizes Tecfidera’s dosage. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you.
|Starting dosage of Tecfidera||Maintenance dosage of Tecfidera*|
|120 milligrams (mg) orally two times per day||240 mg orally two times per day|
* Maintenance dosage should begin 7 days after starting therapy with Tecfidera.
For information about the dosage of Tecfidera, including its strengths and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Tecfidera, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Tecfidera provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Tecfidera, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Below is information about common Tecfidera dosages for multiple sclerosis (MS).
Tecfidera comes as an oral capsule.
Tecfidera comes in two strengths: 120 milligrams (mg) and 240 mg.
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage of Tecfidera. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s recommended 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 all uses
The recommended starting dose for MS treatment is 120 mg twice per day. Then your doctor will have you take a double dose, which is 240 mg twice per day starting on day 8. You will continue to take 240 mg twice per day as the maintenance dosage.
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.
If you have severe side effects after taking 240 mg 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 too many 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. Tecfidera should be taken twice a 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 a day. Typically, one dose is taken in the morning, and one dose is taken in the evening. There is no specific recommendation for how many hours apart the doses should be taken.
You can take Tecfidera with or without food. However, taking Tecfidera with breakfast and dinner may help decrease side effects such as nausea and flushing. It also may help you remember to take Tecfidera if you take it with meals.
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 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 don’t 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:
- severe allergic reaction
- severe brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
- serious infection
- liver injury
- having too few lymphocytes in the blood
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 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 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:
- More about Tecfidera. For information about other aspects of Tecfidera, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Tecfidera, see this article. You can also look at Tecfidera’s prescribing information.
- Drug comparisons. To find out how Tecfidera compares with similar drugs, see this article.
- Details about multiple sclerosis (MS). For more information about MS, see our MS hub and this list of related 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.