Riluzole serum concentrations in patients with ALS: associations with side effects and symptoms.

Groeneveld GJ, Van Kan HJ, Kalmijn S, Veldink JH, Guchelaar HJ, Wokke JH, Van den Berg LH

Riluzole exerts a dose-dependent effect on survival of patients with ALS and, although serum levels show a high interindividual variability, is usually prescribed in a fixed dose. In this study, riluzole serum levels and area under the curve per kilogram of body weight (AUC/kg) of 169 patients with ALS showed a high interindividual variability. Patients with high serum levels and AUC/kg more often had diarrhea but less often had fasciculations and muscle stiffness. It may therefore be advantageous to raise the riluzole dose in patients with low riluzole serum concentrations without the risk of serious side effects.