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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (cont.)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Medications

Riluzole (Rilutek) helps slow motor neuron damage and delay muscle paralysis and loss of function. A patient taking this drug will require regular blood tests during the first several months of treatment to detect possible liver damage, a possible decreased neutrophil (a type of white blood cells) count, and other harmful effects. To allow riluzole to be properly absorbed from the stomach, the patient should take the drug on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after meals). Common side effects when starting the drug include nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and drowsiness.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Surgery

There is no surgical treatment for ALS. The surgeon is called in to perform the tracheostomy when you require help to breathe.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Follow-up

Once ALS is diagnosed, you will require regular visits with the medical team that is providing your care. These visits will monitor the course of the disease and the effects of treatment. They will also alert the medical team to needs for changes or additions to the treatment regimen.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis »

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of unknown cause characterized by slowly progressive degeneration of upper motor neurons (UMNs) and lower motor neurons (LMNs).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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