Rilutek



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Accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide

Generic Name: riluzole
(RIL yoo zol)

What is Rilutek?

Rilutek works by decreasing your body's levels of glutamate, an amino acid that affects nerves that send messages from your brain to your muscles. People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may have very high levels of glutamate, which can damage these nerve cells.

Rilutek is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Rilutek is not a cure for ALS, but it may delay progression of the disease and prolong your life.

Rilutek may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Rilutek?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Rilutek.

Before you take Rilutek, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

Rilutek can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

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

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any appointments.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Rilutek. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage.

Avoid products that contain caffeine. Caffeine may cause too much Rilutek to build up in your body.

Smoking cigarettes may make Rilutek less effective.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Rilutek?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Rilutek is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Rilutek passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Rilutek?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

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

Rilutek is usually taken twice a day, every 12 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions. It is important to take your medicine at the same times each day.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function will need to be checked with blood tests every month during the first 3 months of treatment, and less often as treatment continues. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Store Rilutek at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and bright light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and wait until it is time for your next dose to take the medicine. Do nottake extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a Rilutek overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking Rilutek?

Rilutek can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Rilutek. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage.

Avoid coffee, tea, cola, or other products that contain caffeine. Caffeine may cause too much Rilutek to build up in your body.

Avoid smoking. Smoking cigarettes may make Rilutek less effective.

What are the possible side effects of Rilutek?

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

Stop using Rilutek and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • cough with yellow or green mucus; or
  • stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, spinning sensation
  • muscle stiffness
  • weakness, drowsiness
  • numbness or tingly feeling in or around your mouth
  • mild nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, constipation
  • headache; or
  • runny nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Rilutek?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • allopurinol (Zyloprim)
  • amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip)
  • cancer medications
  • methyldopa (Aldomet)
  • omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • theophylline theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl, and others)
  • tuberculosis medications
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
  • auranofin (Ridaura)
  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), and others
  • an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), dapsone, erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), or rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate)
  • antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • cholesterol medications such as niacin (Advicor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and others
  • HIV/AIDS medications such as abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine (Trizivir), lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir), nevirapine (Viramune), tenofovir (Viread), or zidovudine (Retrovir)
  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or
  • seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), felbamate (Felbatol), valproic acid (Depakene).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Rilutek. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about Rilutek.


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 condition prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.