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Riluzole (Rilutek) Drug for ALS: Use, Side Effects, Interactions




Riluzole
(Rilutek, United States and Canada)

More drugs used for ALS.

Use:

Riluzole or Rilutek is used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gherig's disease.

How It Works:

Riluzole or Rilutek inhibits glutamate release possibly by blocking sodium channels. The accumulation of glutamate seems to be involved in ALS, and Riluzole or Rilutek's action prevents the accumulation.

Side Effects:

Riluzole or Rilutek can cause nausea, vomiting, increased asthenia, and increased spasticity.

Cautions for People:

People need to know, before they use Riluzole or Rilutek, that it is not clear whether Riluzole or Rilutek is useful or not. At most, it is considered to offer a modest benefit.

Drug Interactions:

Riluzole or Rilutek, at this time, does not appear to have any significant drug interactions.

Further Reading:

Med Letter 1995;37(963):113
N Engl J Med 1994;330:585
Electoenceph Clin Neurophysiol 1995;97:568
Neurology 1996;47(4Suppl2):S86

Added to Virtual Drugstore November 1996.

The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.













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