Riluzole and d-amphetamine interactions in humans

Mehmet Sofuoglu, Andrew J. Waters, Marc Mooney, Thomas Kosten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In preclinical studies, medications which decrease glutamate release have been shown to block some of the effects of psychostimulants. One such medication is riluzole, marketed for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The goal of this study was to determine riluzole's effects on acute physiological and subjective responses to d-amphetamine in healthy volunteers. Seven male and 5 female subjects participated in an outpatient double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Across 4 sessions, subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of 4 oral treatments: placebo, 20 mg d-amphetamine alone, 100 mg riluzole alone, or d-amphetamine plus riluzole. Outcome measures included heart rate, blood pressure, plasma cortisol, performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART), and subjective measures. d-amphetamine increased heart rate, blood pressure and plasma cortisol levels while inducing psychostimulant-type subjective effects. On the SART, d-amphetamine enhanced the speed of correct responses but also significantly increased the number of errors of commission. Riluzole at 100 mg did not block, the typical subjective and physiological responses to 20 mg d-amphetamine. Riluzole alone induced amphetamine-like subjective responses. On the SART test, riluzole increased the number errors of commission, but unlike d-amphetamine, did not speed reaction time. The mechanism accounting for these findings is unclear, but may involve processes other than decreased glutamate release by riluzole. The effects of glutamate medications on psychostimulant responses need to be further examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Veterans Administration Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grants P50-DA12762, K01-DA 19446 (MM), K05-DA0454 (TRK), R01-DA 14537, and K12 00167 (MS). We would like to thank the Biostudies nursing staff for technical assistance.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • AMPA
  • Dopamine
  • Glutamate psychostimulant
  • Riluzole
  • d-amphetamine


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