A benzothiazole derivative with neuroprotective and potential antidepressant and anxiolytic activities.
While the mechanism of action of riluzole is unknown, its pharmacological activities in motor neurons include the following, some of which may be related to its effect:
1) an inhibitory effect on glutamate release,
2) inactivation of voltage-dependent sodium channels, and
3) interference with intracellular events that follow transmitter binding at excitatory amino acid receptors. In animal models, this agent has been shown to exhibit miorelaxant and sedative activities, apparently due to the blockade of glutamatergic neurotransmission.