riluzole (generic name)

It slows down the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
(RIL yoo zole)
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What is this medicine?

RILUZOLE (RIL yoo zole) slows down the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to riluzole, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • allopurinol
  • amitriptyline
  • barbiturate, like phenobarbital
  • caffeine
  • carbamazepine
  • certain antibiotics called quinolones
  • methyldopa
  • omeprazole
  • phenacetin
  • rifampin
  • sulfasalazine
  • tacrine
  • theophylline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Contact your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms get worse or if you have a fever, chills, or other signs of infection.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco smoking while you are taking this medicine. Alcohol can increase the risk of liver damage. Tobacco smoking can decrease the effect of this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional for ways to help you stop smoking or drinking.

You may get dizzy or lose your balance. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • fever, chills or infection
  • increased blood pressure
  • tingling, pricking, or burning sensation around the mouth
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • weak or tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: August 17, 2009
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