Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102366-1



Riluzole is used for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and prevention of ventilator dependence after a tracheostomy (Wink et al. 2011). Current pharmacological studies suggest riluzole modulates glutamate-induced excitotoxicity and inhibits the release of glutamate from presynaptic nerve terminals (Wink et al. 2011). Common side effects of riluzole include headache, gastrointestinal distress, and decreased salivation. In recent years, several clinical studies and clinical trials have investigated riluzole’s therapeutic efficacy for mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression (Wink et al. 2011). Among autism spectrum disorder patients (ASD), riluzole was effective in reducing repetitive behaviors and irritability (Wink et al. 2011). However, a single case report suggests riluzole may increase the concentration of other antipsychotic, antidepressant, or anticonvulsant drugs used for ASD patients through inhibition of CYP enzymes (Veenstra-VanderWeele 2010...

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References and Readings

  1. Ghaleiha, A., Mohammadi, E., Mohammadi, M.-R., Farokhnia, M., Modabbernia, A., Yekehtaz, H., et al. (2013). Riluzole as an adjunctive therapy to risperidone for the treatment of irritability in children with autistic disorder: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Pediatric Drugs, 15(6), 505–514.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40272-013-0036-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Veenstra-VanderWeele, J. (2010). Increase in valproic acid levels during riluzole treatment in an adolescent with autism. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 20(2), 163–165.  https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2009.0087.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Wink, L. K., Erickson, C. A., Stigler, K. A., & McDougle, C. J. (2011). Riluzole in autistic disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 21(4), 375–379.  https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2010.0154.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Wink, L. K., Adams, R., Horn, P. S., Tessier, C. R., Bantel, A. P., Hong, M., et al. (2018). A randomized placebo-controlled cross-over pilot study of riluzole for drug-refractory irritability in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(9), 3051–3060.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3562-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)LubbockUSA