Rilutek or generic Riluzole has been the drug of choice for over 20 years for treating the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This progressive neurological disease is characterized by the gradual weakening and atrophy of the nerve cells that are responsible for sending signals between your brain and spinal cord to control muscle movements in your limbs, torso, face, and neck. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
It is believed that levels of glutamate, one of your neurotransmitters, have become too high and caused damage to your nerve cells. Glutamate is a powerful excitatory brain chemical and it is this action of excitation that seems to lead to cell damage or death.
Rilutek is formulated to help protect nerves in your brain and spinal cord from the over activity of glutamate to reduce cell death or damage. Rilutek is not a cure for ALS and does not repair any cell damage that has already occurred. But it will help to slow down the symptoms that ALS causes.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease as this was a famous baseball player that was diagnosed with ALS during his long career. Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis include genetics, heredity, your age, most common between 40 and 60 years old, and gender as it appears that men are more likely to develop ALS than women.
As this disease progresses, normal actions become difficult, such as walking, speaking, and eating. The destruction caused to the nerve cells do not, however, interfere with your sight, hearing, or sense of smell and touch. You can still experience pain, hot and cold temperatures, and pressure. You should also take part in physical therapy and speech therapy to help strengthen weak muscles and learn speech techniques so you can be understood easier as symptoms progress.
You may still be of child-bearing age so ask your doctor about any risks of taking Rilutek if you are pregnant, wanting to become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Your doctor should know of other medical conditions or allergies you have and any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal products and vitamin supplements. This will help determine your drug schedule as it is important to slow this disease’s progress as soon as possible.
Keep all doctor and lab appointments so your health can be monitored to know if the dosage is correct and if you are comfortable and dealing with the symptoms. Keep Rilutek and all other medications out of children’s reach. Contact your doctor right away if there is a sudden increase in your symptoms.