What is riluzole?
Riluzole affects muscles and nerves in the body. The exact way that it works is unknown.
Riluzole is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Riluzole may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
- have liver disease; or
- have kidney disease.
You may not be able to take riluzole, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Riluzole is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether riluzole will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take riluzole without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether riluzole passes into breast milk. Do not take riluzole without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Riluzole may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
Use alcohol cautiously while taking riluzole. Alcohol may increase the risk of liver problems caused by riluzole.
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Seek emergency medical treatment.
Symptoms of a riluzole overdose have not been reported.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
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If you experience any of the following serious side effects, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- a fever, chills or other signs of infection; or
- liver problems (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, severe fatigue).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take riluzole and talk to your doctor if you experience
- dizziness; or
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or decreased appetite.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- theophylline (Theo-Dur, Slo-Bid, Elixophyllin, Bronkodyl, Aerolate, Slo-Phyllin, Theovent, Theoclear, Uniphyl, Uni-Dur, Respbid,), and many others;
- allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim);
- methyldopa (Aldomet);
- sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);
- omeprazole (Prilosec);
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep, others);
- caffeine-containing products;
- fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), or norfloxacin (Norflex); or
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane).
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with riluzole. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.
Rilutek and riluzole
Available Strengths & Dosages
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