Medically reviewed by A Ras MD.
What is Rilutek used for?
Rilutek is a prescription medicine that is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
RILUTEK (riluzole) is a member of the benzothiazole class. The chemical designation for riluzole is 2-amino-6-(trifluoromethoxy)benzothiazole. Its molecular formula is C8H5F3N2OS, and its molecular weight is 234.2. The chemical structure is:
RILUTEK is a white to slightly yellow powder that is very soluble in dimethylformamide, dimethylsulfoxide, and methanol; freely soluble in dichloromethane; sparingly soluble in 0.1 N HCl; and very slightly soluble in water and in 0.1 N NaOH.
Each film-coated tablet for oral use contains 50 mg of riluzole and the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.
Mechanism of Action
The mechanism by which riluzole exerts its therapeutic effects in patients with ALS is unknown.
Before taking Rilutek, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to Rilutek; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have liver disease or raised liver enzymes.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Rilutek with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Rilutek?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Rilutek. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are Japanese, use Rilutek with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is Rilutek best taken?
Use Rilutek as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
- Take Rilutek at the same time of day.
- Keep taking Rilutek as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, on an empty stomach.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are the side effects of Rilutek that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Lung problems have happened with Rilutek. Call your doctor right away if you have lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Rilutek. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Low white blood cell counts have rarely happened with Rilutek. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.
What are some other side effects of Rilutek?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach.
- Stomach pain.
- Feeling dizzy, tired, or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Rilutek?
- Store at room temperature protected from light. Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL – BOTTLE
- NDC 70515-700-60
- 50 mg
- 60 Tablets
- Rx Only Each RILUTEK® Tablet contains 50mg