Flupirtine: pharmacology and clinical applications of a nonopioid analgesic and potentially neuroprotective compound

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Jun;10(9):1495-500. doi: 10.1517/14656560902988528.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / prevention & control
  • Aminopyridines / chemistry
  • Aminopyridines / pharmacology
  • Aminopyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Analgesics / chemistry
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Aminopyridines
  • Analgesics
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • flupirtine