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Drugs reference index «Riluzole»


Generic Name: Riluzole (RIL-ue-zole)Brand Name: Rilutek

Riluzole is used for:

Prolonging survival or prolonging the time before a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig disease) is placed on a ventilator or breathing machine. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Riluzole is a benzothiazole. Exactly how Riluzole works is not known. It may prevent further damage to certain brain cells (motor neurons) responsible for controlling muscle function.

Do NOT use Riluzole if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Riluzole

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Riluzole :

Some medical conditions may interact with Riluzole . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of liver or kidney disease, abnormal liver function tests, or a low white blood cell count

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Riluzole . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Omeprazole or rifampin because the effectiveness of Riluzole may be decreased
  • Amitriptyline, phenacetin, quinolones (eg, levofloxacin), tacrine, or theophylline because actions and side effects of Riluzole may be increased
  • Medicines that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, allopurinol, certain medicines for HIV infection, isoniazid, ketoconazole, methotrexate, methyldopa, sulfasalazine) because the risk of liver side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Riluzole may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Riluzole :

Use Riluzole as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Riluzole by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Riluzole works best if taken on a regular basis.
  • Take Riluzole at the same time every day.
  • If you miss a dose of Riluzole , skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Riluzole .

Important safety information:

  • Riluzole may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Riluzole . Using Riluzole alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while taking Riluzole to reduce the risk of liver damage.
  • Caffeine may increase the actions or side effects of Riluzole . Avoid large amounts of caffeine-containing foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, and chocolate.
  • Cigarette smoke or charcoal-broiled food may decrease the effectiveness of Riluzole . Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
  • Patients of Japanese descent and women may be at higher risk of developing side effects from Riluzole .
  • LAB TESTS, including liver function tests, may be required to monitor progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Riluzole with caution in ELDERLY patients with liver problems; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Riluzole with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Riluzole while you are pregnant. It is not known if Riluzole is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Riluzole .

Possible side effects of Riluzole :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal skin sensations around the mouth; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; loss of appetite; muscle weakness; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); cough, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; frequent or painful urination; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); swelling of the hands or feet; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch .

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Riluzole :

Store Riluzole at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Riluzole out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Riluzole , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Riluzole is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Riluzole . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Riluzole Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • riluzole Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • riluzole Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Rilutek Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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