Medications for ALS

Medications for ALS

Riluzole (Rilutek)

Rilutek reduces the release of glutamate in the nervous system. Rilutek is the only FDA approved drug for ALS patients at this time. Although medical journals state that it is an effective treatment for ALS, in reality it only extends life span by about 3 months, and there is no difference in mortality rates between Rilutek and non-Rilutek users. Rilutek is associated with some common side effects, which are:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • decreased liver function
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • pneumonia
  • vomiting
  • vertigo

Rilutek is contraindicated with liver disease, and patients taking Rilutek must be closely monitored for liver function, since it causes
an elevation in liver enzymes.

Baclofen (Lioresal)

Lioresal is used to relieve stiffness in the limbs and throat. Severe adverse reactions have been documented which include cardiovascular collapse and seizures. Other side effects include:

  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • weight gain
  • constipation
Certain anti-depressants may be used to control the production of excess saliva.

Drugs to be used with caution by people with ALS

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs (Statins)

Long-term use of statin drugs including Lipitor, Zocor and others may increase the risk of statin-induced polyneuropathy. By limiting the production of cholesterol, statin drugs may be causing membrane degeneration in neural and muscle tissue.

The Phizer web site for Lipitor lists "serious muscle side effects" as a side effect of this drug, but not as a cause of neuro-degenerative disorders. However, when patients experiencing this type of side effect go off the statin drug, many slowly recover.

Some of the symptoms associated with statin drugs include:

  • facial weakness
  • difficulty using the arms and hands
  • difficulty using the legs and feet
  • swallowing difficulty
  • speech impairment
  • difficulty walking
  • decreased sensation or numbness in the limbs
  • loss of muscle function
  • sensations such as pain, burning or tingling
  • joint pain
  • fatigue

These side effects are almost identical to the symptoms of ALS. If you are experiencing these symptoms and have been taking a cholesterol-lowering drug such as Lipitor, see your doctor immediately.

Visit or return to our page on Natural Therapies for Neurological Health.

Veiw our ALS and Dental Amalgams page.

More Information on Alternative Support Therapies for ALS
Other Useful Information for People with ALS

Useful Tests
The following tests may be extremely useful for people to both tailor your therapeutic supplements program and to chart your progress.
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Detoxification Therapy
There is growing evidence that environmental toxins play a major role
in numerous neurological disorders.
Read more

pH Balance Therapy
A balanced body pH is crucial to any healing program. The cause of disease, according many experts, is over acidification, from diet, stress, toxins, etc.
Read more

Antioxidant Therapy
Most of you have heard of antioxidants and know that they are good for you.  Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals. 
Read more

Herbal Therapy
Herbs that have beneficial properties
to support neurological health.
Read more >>>

Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins & minerals that can be useful for people with neurological symptoms.
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Viral & Bacterial Support
Scientists have long surmised that
there may be an infectious component to neurological symptoms, and while
this has not been proven, it would be prudent to take natural and safe substances that effectively rid the body of viruses, bacteria and mycoplasma. 
Read more

Supportive Supplements
Here is an additional list of supplements that may also be helpful for people with neurological challenges. 
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ALS Links and Resources
The following organizations may
provide much useful information for people with ALS/MND.
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Causes of ALS
While the actual cause of ALS/MND remains unknown, there are presently several theories being put forward. 
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Early Symptoms of ALS
The onset of ALS/MND is often very subtle – these are the initial symptoms to watch for.
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Genetic Testing for ALS
ALS/MND is hereditary in only 10 percent of families.  The vast majority of ALS cases are sporadic, meaning that although there is likely a genetic predisposition involved, ALS is not directly inherited in a family. 
Read more

Diagnosing ALS
ALS/MND is one of those diseases that is very difficult to diagnose.  There is no one test that will definitively tell you whether you have ALS. 
Read more

ALS and Dental Amalgams
The use of mercury “silver” amalgams in dental fillings has been an accepted practice in the United States for more than one hundred years.  Therefore, most people assume that their “silver” fillings are safe and non-toxic. Not so.
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Dietary Regimen for ALS
This part of the ALS/MND protocol requires following a very specific dietary regime. This may be the most challenging aspect for many people with ALS. 
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Medications for ALS
There are various medications that are being prescribed for people with ALS/MND as their symptoms progress.
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Stem Cell Therapy
There is a huge and widespread interest in the ALS/MND community in stem cell therapy, both in how it is helping people with ALS today and how it may benefit people with ALS in the future. 
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