Verzenio (abemaciclib) is a brand-name drug prescribed for certain types of breast cancer in adults. Verzenio comes as an oral tablet that’s typically taken twice per day.

Verzenio is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancers in adults. These include metastatic or advanced breast cancer and high risk* early stage breast cancer. Doctors prescribe Verzenio alone or with other breast cancer drugs.

Verzenio belongs to a drug class called kinase inhibitors. Verzenio isn’t available in a generic version.

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

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

* High risk means the cancer has an increased risk of coming back after treatment.

Read below for details about Verzenio’s dosages for its approved uses.

Verzenio form

Verzenio comes as an oral tablet.

Verzenio strengths

Verzenio comes in four strengths:

  • 50 milligrams (mg)
  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 200 mg

Typical dosages

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended in adults. 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 breast cancer

Doctors may prescribe Verzenio to treat certain hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancers. Your Verzenio dosage will depend on whether you take the drug alone or with other breast cancer treatments:

  • Verzenio alone: Your starting dosage will likely be 200 mg twice per day.
  • Verzenio with other treatments: Your starting dosage will likely be 150 mg twice per day.

Note: Other drugs your doctor may prescribe with Verzenio depend on your specific type of breast cancer and treatment plan. They may include tamoxifen, fulvestrant (Faslodex), and certain aromatase inhibitors. For details, see the “Verzenio for breast cancer” section in this article. For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Verzenio is meant to be a long-term treatment.

However, Verzenio can cause side effects that may be bothersome. (For details about side effects, see this article.) If you and your doctor determine that the benefits of Verzenio treatment outweigh any negative effects, you’ll likely take it long term. But if your condition worsens, your doctor may recommend stopping Verzenio. If your doctor stops Verzenio, they’ll discuss other possible treatment options with you.

Before you start taking Verzenio, your doctor will explain the details of your treatment plan.

The Verzenio dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • how your body responds to Verzenio
  • the type of the condition you take Verzenio to treat
  • other medications you take
  • side effects that you may have with Verzenio
  • your liver function

Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Verzenio dosage.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you take certain medications such as liver enzyme* inhibitors. Taking Verzenio with these drugs can affect the level of Verzenio in your body and increase the risk for side effects.

If you have side effects from Verzenio treatment, your doctor may adjust your dose. To learn about side effects of Verzenio, see this article.

Your doctor may also need to adjust your dosage if you have a severe liver condition, such as liver cirrhosis.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.

* A liver enzyme is a type of protein in the liver that breaks down medications.

Verzenio comes as a tablet that you swallow whole. Do not divide, crush, chew, or place the tablet in water. You may take your dose with or without food.

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

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

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

If you miss a dose of Verzenio, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed one. If you’re not sure whether to take a missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

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

If you take more than the recommended amount of Verzenio

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Verzenio. 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’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Verzenio for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Verzenio without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Verzenio that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

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

  • More about Verzenio. For information about other aspects of Verzenio, refer to this article.
  • Side effects. To learn about side effects of Verzenio, see this article. You can also look at the Verzenio prescribing information.
  • Cost. If you’d like to learn about Verzenio and cost, see this article.
  • Details about your condition. For details about your condition, see our breast 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.