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Riluzole and its role

Riluzole is a drug which is used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, disease that is also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Riluzole is available in the form of tablets and can be obtained only with the prescription from a doctor. The main role of this medicine is to reduce the amounts of glutamate that affects the nerves by which muscles get the message from the brain. Riluzole must be taken exactly as the doctor prescribed it, usually twice a day on empty stomach or one hour before or two hours after the meal.

Complications when using riluzole

It is important to tell the doctor if the patient has some other medical problems, especially the lung or liver diseases, as well as kidney disorder and bone marrow problems. These conditions may be worsened by the use of riluzole. Riluzole must not be used along with some other medications, such as sulfasalazine, tacrine and theophylline. It is also important to inform the doctor in the case of some allergic reactions to the ingredients of thismedicine. It is advisable not to consume alcohol, caffeine or nicotine while taking riluzole.

Side effects of riluzole

Each medicine has its unwanted effects, and thus riluzole as well. The most common side effects of riluzole are problems with eyes or blurred vision, problems with breathing, difficult moving as well as dizziness, headache, muscle tension or pain or stiffness and pain in the joints. Furthermore, nervousness, pounding in the ear and slow or rapid heartbeat are also some of the frequent side effects of riluzole.

Other adverse effects that are less common are pain of bladder, cough, swelling of the face or extremities, bluish lips or skin, as well as chills, confusion, burning while urinating or bloody or cloudy urine and cold sweats. Moreover, some persons reported diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, the loss of weight and the loss of appetite as unwanted side effects of this medicine. In some cases fever, headache, tenderness, hypotension, sleeplessness and unconsciousness appeared. It is not unusual that difficulty while swallowing, frequent urge to urinate, pains in muscles, joints or lower back, and sore throat will appear. Furthermore, increased sputum, shivering, sneezing, and runny nose may also occur as side effects of riluzole.

Very rare side effects of riluzole are mood swings, weakness, fatigue, confusion, lack of concentration, thirst, depression as well as redness, scaling, or peeling of the skin. In addition to these very rare side effects, convulsion, swelling of the eyelids, lips, tongue or mouth and jaundice can sometimes occur.

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