Zykadia (ceritinib) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for treating a certain type of lung cancer in adults. Zykadia comes as a tablet and is typically taken once per day.

Zykadia is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a certain type of non-small cell lung cancer with the following characteristics:

  • caused by an error in a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)
  • has spread to other parts of the body

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

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

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

Read below for recommended dosage of Zykadia and other details about the drug.

Zykadia forms

Zykadia comes as an oral tablet.

Zykadia strength

Zykadia comes in one strength of 150 milligrams (mg).

Typical dosages

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed. 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 non-small cell lung cancer

Doctors may prescribe Zykadia to treat ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer that has spread.

If your doctor prescribes Zykadia for your non-small cell lung cancer, your starting dose will likely be 450 mg. Typically, you’ll take this once per day. This is the typical recommended dosage of Zykadia for people with non-small cell lung cancer.

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Zykadia is meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Zykadia is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely continue taking it until your body no longer responds to the medication.

Before you start taking Zykadia, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

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

  • other medications you take
  • side effects you may have with Zykadia
  • your liver function

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may need to reduce your dosage if you take certain medications, such as strong CYP3A* inhibitors. These drugs can affect the level of Zykadia in your body.

Your doctor may need to reduce your dosage or stop Zykadia if you experience certain adverse reactions when taking Zykadia, such as:

Your doctor may also need to reduce your dosage if you have severe liver damage.

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

* CYP3A is an enzyme (a type of protein) in the liver that breaks down medications.

Zykadia comes as an oral tablet. Be sure to take your dose with a meal or snack.

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

If you have questions about how to use Zykadia, 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 Zykadia in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

If you miss a dose of Zykadia, take it as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 12 hours. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed one. If you’re not sure whether you should 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 Zykadia 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 Zykadia

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

Below are some frequently asked questions about Zykadia.

What happens if I vomit after taking my dose of Zykadia?

If you vomit shortly after taking Zykadia, do not take an additional dose. Wait until your next scheduled dose time to take the medication again.

Vomiting is one of the most common side effects of Zykadia. You may be given medication to prevent nausea or vomiting while taking this medication.

How long does it take for Zykadia to start working?

Zykadia starts to work after your first dose as your body absorbs the drug within hours. Because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel the drug working in your body. But your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Zykadia treatment.

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

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

  • More about Zykadia: For information about other aspects of Zykadia, refer to this article.
  • Side effects: To learn about side effects of Zykadia, see this article. You can also look at the Zykadia prescribing information.
  • Details about your condition: For details about non-small cell lung cancer, see our 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.