Background: Flupirtine is a nonopioid drug without antipyretic or antiphlogistic properties and with a favorable tolerability. It constitutes a unique class within the group of nonsteroidal analgesics and displays a peculiar pharmacodynamic profile that invites the investigation of applications beyond the pain-relieving effect.
Objective: This review describes and evaluates the pharmacologic and clinical literature regarding flupirtine and discusses its future potential.
Methods: A search of the primary literature and conference abstracts was conducted using the keyword 'flupirtine'. Resulting articles were compiled and analyzed for this review.
Results/conclusions: Although flupirtine has gained a firm place in the treatment of acute and chronic pain in various clinical settings since its introduction, a broader range of applications remains to be explored in clinical trials. Possible neuroprotective effects due to N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonistic properties of flupirtine might be promising in the treatment of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Trials in these fields are forthcoming.