The pharmacokinetics and tolerability of the novel antiexcitatory agent, riluzole, were compared in 18 healthy elderly and 18 healthy gender- and weight-matched young volunteers. All participants received riluzole 50 mg twice daily (the recommended dosage for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), administered orally for 5 days. The pharmacokinetics of riluzole, determined on the morning of the 5th day of dosing, were not significantly affected by age or gender. The mean terminal elimination half-life (t1/2), however, was statistically significant between elderly and young subjects. Riluzole was well tolerated upon repeat dose administration. Headache was the most frequent adverse event reported, and there was no overt difference in the type, frequency, or severity of adverse events between elderly and young volunteers or between genders. In conclusion, these results indicate that no dosage adjustments of riluzole are required in the elderly.