Xalkori (crizotinib) is a prescription brand-name medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain types of cancer.
Specifically, Xalkori is used to treat:
- metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) or ROS proto-oncogene 1-positive (ROS1+) in adults
- systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that is ALK+ and relapsed or refractory in children ages 1 year and older and young adults
Xalkori comes as oral capsules. It belongs to a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors. The drug works by targeting ALK or ROS1 proteins to stop tumor growth.
There is currently no generic version of Xalkori at this time.
The following chart summarizes Xalkori’s dosage. Your doctor will determine the dosage that’s best for you.
|Type of cancer||Recommended dosage||Dosing schedule|
|NSCLC||250 milligrams (mg)||twice per day|
|ALCL||280 mg/meters2*||twice per day|
* For this use, you or your child’s dose is based on your body surface area (height and weight).
For information about Xalkori dosing, including the drug’s strengths and how to take Xalkori, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at the medication, see this article.
This section describes the typical dosages of Xalkori.
Xalkori comes as an oral capsule.
Xalkori comes in two strengths: 200 milligrams (mg) and 250 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 metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
The recommended dose for non-small cell lung cancer is 250 mg taken twice per day. You will likely continue treatment until your cancer gets worse or until you can no longer tolerate side effects from the drug.
Dosage for anaplastic large cell lymphoma
The recommended dose for anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is 280 mg/meters squared (m2),taken twice per day. Your specific dose will depend on your body surface area (BSA), which is based on your height and weight. For example, if your BSA is 1.5 m2, your dose would likely be 400 mg taken twice per day. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you based on your BSA.
You will likely continue treatment with Xalkori until your cancer gets worse or until you can no longer tolerate the drug’s side effects.
Xalkori is FDA-approved to treat children ages 1 year and older who have a certain type of ALCL. The recommended children’s dosage for ALCL is the same as that described in the “Dosage for anaplastic large cell lymphoma” section above. Your child’s dose is based on their BSA. For example, if a child’s BSA is 0.6 m2, their dose would likely be 200 mg taken twice per day.
Xalkori is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Xalkori is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. You will likely continue treatment until your cancer gets worse or until you can no longer tolerate the side effects from the drug.
To learn more about Xalkori’s side effects, see this article.
The Xalkori dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Xalkori to treat
- your weight and height (for treating anaplastic large cell lymphoma only)
- how well your kidneys work
- how well your liver works
- how well you are tolerating Xalkori
- other medications you take
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Xalkori dosage.
Your doctor will likely decrease your Xalkori dosage if your kidneys or liver don’t work as well as they should or if you experience certain side effects. Your doctor may also adjust your dosage if you take certain other medications.
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects when taking Xalkori. Also tell your doctor before you start or stop any other medications. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that is best for you.
To learn more about Xalkori’s side effects, see this article.
Xalkori comes as an oral capsule that you should swallow whole. Do not open, chew, or crush the capsule.
You can take Xalkori with or without food. Try to take Xalkori at the same times each day, about 12 hours apart.
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 Xalkori in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss a dose of Xalkori, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless you are scheduled to take your next dose within 6 hours. If it’s within 6 hours of your next dose, be sure to wait to take your next dose as scheduled.
If you vomit after taking your dose of Xalkori, do not take another dose. You should take your next dose at the regular scheduled time. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure whether you should take a missed dose.
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.
It’s important that you don’t use more Xalkori 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 Xalkori
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Xalkori. 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’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Xalkori, 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 Xalkori without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Xalkori that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Xalkori. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Xalkori. For information about other aspects of Xalkori, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. Find out how Xalkori compares with Alecensa and Rozlytrek.
- Details about your condition. For details about lung cancer, see our lung cancer hub and list of lung cancer articles. To learn more about anaplastic large cell lymphoma, refer to our cancer hub and list of lymphoma 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.