Riluzole: Uses & Side Effects

Riluzole is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Although t is not a cure for ALS, it may delay progression of the disease and prolong your life. Beside, it may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use riluzole if you are allergic to it.

Riluzole is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease.

Riluzole may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using riluzole. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Uses

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take riluzole on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

You will need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the liquid medicine upright and do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 15 days.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using riluzole and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • dry cough, or cough with mucus;
  • low white blood cell counts–fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat; or
  • liver problems–nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Side effects may be more likely to occur in people of Japanese descent.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, weakness;
  • numbness or tingling around your mouth;
  • stomach pain, nausea;
  • breathing problems; or
  • high blood pressure–severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears.

Keywords: Riluzole.

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