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Riluzole

INFORMATION

Uses

Riluzole is used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als).

How it works

Riluzole belongs to the class of drugs called benzothiazoles. It works by stopping the release of glutamate (a chemical messenger) which causes the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, thereby, preventing the damage of nerve cells and helping in prolonging survival and/or delaying the need for surgery to facilitate breathing (tracheostomy).

Common side effects

Depression, Diarrhoea, Fever, Fatigue, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, Headache, Loss of appetite, Muscle pain, Muscle weakness, Stomach pain

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Riluzole is not recommended in children below 18 years of age.
  • Inform your doctor if you have any liver or kidney problems or a low white blood cell count or experience any symptoms such as yellowing of your skin or the white of your eyes (jaundice), itching, feeling sick, fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • You should be regularly monitored for liver parameters and blood counts while on riluzole therapy.
  • Avoid large amounts of caffeine-containing foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, and chocolate as it may interact with riluzole.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as it may cause dizziness or drowsiness. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions

Riluzole

Q.What is riluzole used for/ what is riluzole treatment/ what is riluzole prescribed for/ / how does riluzole work against ALS/ what does riluzole treat/ how safe is riluzole for depression?
Riluzole is used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord (responsible for sending instructions to the muscles leading to weakness, muscle wasting and paralysis). It is not used for the treatment of depression

Q.How does riluzole work/ how does riluzole work against ALS/ how does riluzole act/work/affect in the body/ how long does riluzole prolong life/ how does riluzole affect the brain?
Riluzole belongs to the class of drugs called benzothiazole. It works by stopping the release of glutamate (a chemical messenger) which causes the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, thereby, preventing the damage of nerve cells and helping in prolonging survival and/or delaying the need for surgery to help breathing (tracheostomy).


Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)