Rilutek

(riluzole)

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Slows down progression of Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS.

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Our bottom line

Rilutek (riluzole) doesn't cure the symptoms of ALS, but people do live longer on the medicine.

Lowest price near you
  • Retail price
    $88.73
  • Savings
    15%
Quick facts about Rilutek
  • Drug class: Musculoskeletal
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (riluzole)

Upsides

  • Rilutek (riluzole) might prolong survival of people with ALS by 3 months.
  • One of two drugs FDA approved to slow progression of ALS, however, Rilutek (riluzole) is available as a pill and not injection.
  • It might delay the need for tracheostomy in people with ALS.
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What to expect from Rilutek, on one page

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Downsides

  • There is no cure for ALS. Rilutek (riluzole) doesn't treat or improve ALS symptoms.
  • Without insurance, Rilutek (riluzole) can be costly.
  • Rilutek (riluzole) causes liver injury in half the people taking it.
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What to expect from Rilutek, on one page

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How it works

Rilutek (riluzole) stops the body from releasing too much glutamate. We don't know what specifically causes ALS, but one possible explanation is nerve damage from high levels of glutamate.

Quick facts about Rilutek
  • Drug class: Musculoskeletal
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (riluzole)

Used for

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Dosage forms

  • Pill
Tried Rilutek? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Rilutek (riluzole) for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Worse lung function
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Loss of energy and strength
  • Stomach pain
  • Liver injury
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Side effect rates for Rilutek (riluzole)

From 633 clinical trials of Rilutek when taken for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (100 mg daily)
  • Loss of energy and strength
    19%19%
    12%12%
  • Nausea
    16%16%
    11%11%
  • Worse lung function
    10%10%
    9%9%
  • Headache
    7%7%
    7%7%
  • Muscle spasms
    6%6%
    6%6%
  • Stuffy nose
    6%6%
    6%6%
  • Stomach pain
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Depression
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • High blood pressure
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Weight loss
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Vomiting
    4%4%
    2%2%
  • Upset stomach
    4%4%
    5%5%
  • Dizziness
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Dry mouth
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Itchiness
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Joint pain
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Back pain
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Loss of appetite
    3%3%
    4%4%
  • Diarrhea
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Gas
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Increased cough
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Fast heartbeat
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Swelling of arms or legs
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Sleepiness
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Balance problems
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Mouth tingling and numbness
    2%2%
  • Eczema
    2%2%
    1%1%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Rilutek.

Rilutek (riluzole)
Placebo

People taking Rilutek felt side effect more

People taking Rilutek felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Rilutek (riluzole)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of liver disease
    • Taking other medicines that cause liver injury

    Rilutek (riluzole) can potentially affect the functioning of your liver, which in rare cases, lead to severe liver damage. Your doctor will do regular blood tests while you are taking this medicine to make sure your liver continues to work normally. If you notice unusual symptoms such as fever, rash, lack of appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, or yellowing of your skin or eyes, call your doctor right away.

Common concerns from people taking Rilutek (riluzole)

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Alcohol
  • Avoid alcohol while on Rilutek (riluzole) because it can raise risk of liver problems.
Food
  • Take at least 1 hour before, or 2 hours after a meal.
Sleep
  • Rilutek (riluzole) can make you feel sleepy and dizzy. These side effects are more likely to happen if you're taking other medicines that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how Rilutek (riluzole) affects you. Get up very slowly from a seated or lying down position, as you might feel dizzy and don’t want to fall.
  • Rilutek (riluzole) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.