Rilutek (riluzole) is used for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the brain and spinal cord that causes muscle weakness and wasting, and eventually paralysis. This medication is not a cure for ALS, although it may prolong life by an average time of about 3 months. There is no evidence that Rilutek has an effect on symptoms of ALS, so you are not likely to feel a difference or see a noticeable change in your condition during the treatment period.
Rilutek is available from Canada, Turkey and Australia manufactured by Sanofi Aventis. It contains riluzole as the active ingredient. The generic Riluzole comes from Canada and United Kingdom manufactured by different manufacturers. Rilutek is available as tablets in the dosage form of 50 mg. The generic form of Rilutek is available as riluzole 50 mg tablets.
Stop taking Rilutek and call your doctor at once if you have one of these serious side effects:
• Depressed mood
• Irregular or fast heartbeat
• Respiratory problems such as dry cough, difficulty in breathing
• Liver problems such as dark urine, a yellow discoloring of the skin or sclera (the white of your eye), itchiness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, general discomfort, tiredness, or abdominal swelling
Less serious side effects include temporary liver injury, weakness, fatigue, dizziness and stomach upset, vomiting, mouth sores, increase or loss of appetite, eczema, diarrhea, irregular or fast heart beat and swelling of the hands, feet or legs. Please call your doctor if you have any further concerns or questions.
Take Rilutek exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The effect of Rilutek is dependent upon taking it continuously at regular intervals, as directed. The recommended dose is 1 tablet (50 mg) every 12 hours. This medication should be taken 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals. You should take this medication regularly and at the same time (morning and evening) each day. Do not take the medication if you are allergic to riluzole or any other ingredients in the medication, have liver problems, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Rilutek may interact with medications such as allopurinol, methyldopa or sulfasalazine, caffeine, the antibiotics quinolones and rifampicin, theophylline, amitriptyline, omeprazole, cigarette smoke and charcoal-broiled food. Before taking Rilutek, inform your doctor if you have ever had any allergic reactions to medications, food etc., have liver problems, are taking other drugs that may be toxic to the liver, are or think you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant, are breastfeeding.
Rilutek may make you to feel dizzy or sleepy. If you experience these feelings do not drive a vehicle or use machinery.
Some people may experience liver injury while taking Rilutek that is most often mild and temporary. Your doctor should periodically test the function of your liver while you are taking Rilutek. Depending on these tests results, your doctor may decide that additional liver evaluation is required. Because Rilutek can, rarely, decrease white blood cells counts, let your doctor know if you experience fever, so the decision can be made as to whether further investigation is needed.
Rilutek should be stored at room temperature (15 to 30°C) and protected from bright light. Rilutek must be kept out of reach of children.