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Exservan (Generic Riluzole)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Exservan is typically prescribed to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a medication that contains the active ingredient riluzole, which works by reducing the release of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can damage nerve cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Exservan comes in the form of orally disintegrating tablets, which means they dissolve quickly in the mouth without the need for water. The usual dosage for Exservan is one 50 mg tablet taken twice daily, spaced 12 hours apart. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking Exservan.

To use Exservan, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Open the blister pack by peeling back the foil on the back of the pack.
  • With dry hands, gently remove the tablet from the blister pack.
  • Place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to dissolve completely. You should not chew or swallow the tablet whole.
  • Once the tablet has dissolved, swallow any saliva that remains in your mouth.

It’s essential to take Exservan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not increase or decrease your dosage without consulting your healthcare provider, as this can affect the medication’s effectiveness and increase the risk of side effects. If you have any questions or concerns about how to use Exservan, be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.

Other uses for this medicine

Exservan (riluzole) is primarily used for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it may also have off-label uses or investigational uses that are not officially approved by regulatory agencies. However, it’s crucial to note that using medications for off-label purposes should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Exservan, here are some important considerations:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to riluzole or any other ingredients in Exservan. Allergic reactions to medications can be serious and require immediate medical attention.
  • Liver function: Exservan is metabolized by the liver, so individuals with liver problems should use it with caution. Your doctor may monitor your liver function regularly while you’re taking Exservan.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It’s essential to discuss the risks and benefits of taking Exservan if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. While there isn’t enough data on the effects of Exservan in pregnancy or breastfeeding, your doctor can help you make an informed decision.
  • Drug interactions: Exservan may interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, antifungal medications, and others. Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Driving and operating machinery: Exservan may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals. If you experience these side effects, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require mental alertness until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption while taking Exservan, as it may increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness or liver problems.
  • Muscle weakness: Exservan may cause muscle weakness or fatigue in some individuals. If you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor.
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms: Some patients may experience neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or hallucinations while taking Exservan. If you notice any changes in your mood or behavior, inform your doctor promptly.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about Exservan or its precautions. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and individual needs.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, Exservan can be taken with or without food. There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Exservan. However, it’s always a good idea to maintain a balanced and healthy diet as part of your overall wellness plan.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Exservan, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Exservan (riluzole) can cause various side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Common side effects of Exservan may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These gastrointestinal symptoms are among the most common side effects of Exservan.
  • Weakness and fatigue: Some individuals may experience weakness or fatigue while taking Exservan.
  • Dizziness: Exservan can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Decreased appetite: Some people may experience a decrease in appetite while taking Exservan.
  • Abnormal liver function tests: Exservan may affect liver function, leading to abnormal results on liver function tests.
  • Headache: Headaches are another common side effect reported by individuals taking Exservan.
  • Upper respiratory tract infection: Some people may experience symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, such as coughing, nasal congestion, or sore throat.
  • Abdominal pain: Exservan may cause abdominal pain or discomfort in some individuals.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping or insomnia may occur as a side effect of Exservan.
  • Muscle weakness: Some individuals may experience muscle weakness while taking Exservan.
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms: Rarely, Exservan may cause neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or hallucinations.

It’s essential to report any unusual or bothersome side effects to your doctor promptly. Additionally, if you experience any severe or life-threatening side effects, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or signs of liver problems (e.g., yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, persistent nausea or vomiting), seek immediate medical attention.

Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal guidelines for Exservan are as follows:

  • Storage: Store Exservan tablets at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the tablets in their original packaging until you are ready to use them. Avoid storing Exservan in the bathroom or kitchen, where it may be exposed to moisture.
  • Disposal: Dispose of any unused or expired Exservan tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Instead, consult with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility on how to safely dispose of medications.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek immediate medical attention: If you suspect an overdose of Exservan or experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or seizures, call emergency services (such as 911 in the United States) or go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation and treatment.
  • Contact a poison control center: If you believe someone has overdosed on Exservan but is conscious and alert, you can contact a poison control center for guidance. They can provide advice on what steps to take and whether further medical attention is necessary.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular monitoring: Your doctor may schedule regular appointments to monitor your progress and check for any side effects or complications while taking Exservan. Be sure to attend these appointments and inform your doctor of any concerns or changes in your condition.
  • Avoid sudden discontinuation: Do not stop taking Exservan without consulting your doctor, even if you start to feel better. Suddenly stopping Exservan can lead to withdrawal symptoms or worsening of your condition.
  • Medical alert: Inform healthcare providers, including dentists and emergency medical personnel, that you are taking Exservan. Carry a medical alert card or wear a bracelet indicating that you are taking this medication, in case of emergencies.
  • Keep a list of medications: Maintain a list of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, and share it with your doctor and pharmacist to prevent potential drug interactions or complications.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about Exservan or its use. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and medical history.

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