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, 62 (3), 251-8

Flupirtine, a Re-Discovered Drug, Revisited


Flupirtine, a Re-Discovered Drug, Revisited

Istvan Szelenyi. Inflamm Res.


Flupirtine was developed long before K(V)7 (KCNQ) channels were known. However, it was clear from the beginning that flupirtine is neither an opioid nor a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic. Its unique muscle relaxing activity was discovered by serendipity. In the meantime, broad and intensive research has resulted in a partial clarification of its mode of action. Flupirtine is the first therapeutically used K(V)7 channel activator with additional GABA(A)ergic mechanisms and thus the first representative of a novel class of analgesics. The presently accepted main mode of its action, potassium K(V)7 (KCNQ) channel activation, opens a series of further therapeutic possibilities. One of them has now been realized: its back-up compound, the bioisostere retigabine, has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy.

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