Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Alcohol: Limit your consumption of alcohol while taking this medication. Riluzole may cause liver problems, and alcohol may increase the risk of liver problems.
Blood cell counts: This medication may cause neutropenia (low white blood cell count), which can mean your immune system is weak. If you develop a fever, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will also perform blood tests regularly to monitor your blood cell counts.
Dizziness and drowsiness: Riluzole can cause dizziness, vertigo, or drowsiness in some people. Do not drive or operate machines until you now how this medication affects you.
Kidney problems: If you have kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed
Liver problems: Riluzole can cause liver injury. Your doctor will perform tests regularly to monitor your liver function. If you experience any symptoms of liver damage (e.g., yellowing of skin or eyes, darkened urine, itchiness, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever), contact your doctor immediately. If you have liver disease or unexplained abnormal liver function test results, do not use riluzole.
Pregnancy: The medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if riluzole passes into breast milk. This medication should not be used by women who are breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.