Rilutek (Riluzole)

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What is Rilutek (Riluzole) prescribed for?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive disease. Meaning it gets worse over time. It affects the nerves in your brain and spinal cord that control your muscles. And as your muscles get weaker, it becomes more difficult for you to walk, talk, eat, and breathe.

This medication is put to work by slowing down the worsening of this disease. And while it does prolong survival, it is not a cure for ALS, and does not reverse nerve damage or muscle weakness. However this medication is thought to work by protecting the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord from too much interaction with a substance called glutamate, which may be a part of the cause of the nerve damage.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist on the matter. Take this medication directly has prescribed, and make sure to read the instructions on the prescription label.  And if you have any concerns, speak with your medical professional.

This medication is taken by mouth on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. And it’s usually taken every 12 hours.

Use this medication on a regular basis to gain the most benefit, and do not increase your dose or take this medication more often or for longer than prescribed, since the risk of side effects will increase.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Riluzole; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease.

Smoking may affect the level of this drug in your blood. Tell your doctor if you smoke or use nicotine or if you stop smoking.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, or numbness/tingling around the mouth may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, such as: signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, such as: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, yellowing eyes/skin, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever that doesn't go away, new or worsening lymph node swelling, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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