Riluzole works by decreasing your body's levels of glutamate, an amino acid that affects nerves that send messages from your brain to your muscles. People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may have very high levels of glutamate, which can damage these nerve cells. Riluzole is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Riluzole is not a cure for ALS, but it may delay progression of the disease and prolong your life. Riluzole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Riluzole is a drug used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The drug cannot cure ALS, but it may slow the progression of the disease, particularly up to the point where a tracheostomy may be required. It increases survival by approximately two to three months. Common side effects associated with riluzole include dizziness, fatigue, upset stomach and loss of appetite.