Current Treatment

Riluzole 88 was approved in 1995 and remains the only drug available for the treatment of ALS. Its mechanism of action is unknown. Preclinically, it has been characterized as a noncompetitive inhibitor of blockade of glutamate release, presumably by reducing Ca2 + influx and voltage-gated sodium channel activity, albeit at micromolar concentrations.96

Two large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trials established the efficacy of riluzole in the treatment of ALS. Overall riluzole extended patient survival by ~3 months but lacked any measurable effects on muscle strength or respiratory function. Riluzole is well absorbed but extensively metabolized by the liver. N-Hydroxylation by CYP1A2 and subsequent formation of O- and N-glucuronides appear to be responsible for its elimination in the urine. Elevation of serum aminotransferase is a likely event within the first months of treat ment with riluzole, and monitoring of liver enzymes while on this drug is important to avoid or reduce hepato-toxicity.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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