K K Jain MD (Dr. Jain is a consultant in neurology and has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Originally released July 6, 1999; last updated July 27, 2019; expires June 27, 2022

This article includes discussion of riluzole and Rilutek. The foregoing terms may include synonyms, similar disorders, variations in usage, and abbreviations.

Historical note and terminology

Riluzole is a member of the benzothiazole class and is believed to be a glutamate antagonist. Several other glutamate antagonists (such as dextromethorphan and branched chain amino acids) have been tried previously for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but without any success. Riluzole is the first drug to be approved for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; it received United States Food and Drug Administration approval in 1995 and was launched in several countries in 1996.

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