What Is Flupirtine?

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  • Written By: L. Whitaker
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 January 2019
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Flupirtine, sometimes called flupirtine maleate, is an analgesic pain-relieving drug that cannot be described as an opioid, a steroid, or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in contrast to other available analgesics. This medicine, which does not have fever-reducing or anti-inflammatory properties, is said to lack dependency potential or withdrawal side effects. It apparently provides pain relief through interaction with non-opiate neural pathways in the nervous system.

As of 2011, this medication was available for consumer use in Italy, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, and other countries but was not approved for any use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The trade name Effirma® is registered for future use by a manufacturer in the United States.

Proponents of Effirma® approval in the U.S. state that this drug could be appropriate for treating fibromyalgia. This chronic medical condition involves pervasive pain throughout the body as well as persistent fatigue. As of 2011, many medications used in the treatment of fibromyalgia were categorized as opioid analgesics, antispasmodics, or antidepressants and caused unpleasant side effects. The FDA granted permission in 2008 to conduct clinical trials to explore the use of Effirma® as a primary pain management tool for individuals with fibromyalgia.


Potential side effects of flupirtine could include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, or headache. Some individuals who take this drug might experience heartburn or dry mouth. This drug can have a sedating effect, making it necessary for a person to use caution before driving or operating dangerous machinery while under the effects of the medication.

If an individual experiences dizziness or sleepiness while using this medication, these symptoms can be further exacerbated by the simultaneous use of other sedative substances, such as benzodiazepine medicines or alcohol. Thus, alcohol should be avoided while taking this drug and users should alert their doctors to any other medications they are currently taking. Patients who use flupirtine in conjunction with warfarin or other anticoagulant medications should be monitored regularly through the use of a blood test to avoid interactions related to the dosage of either drug.

A typical dosage of flupirtine is 100 mg taken orally as many as four times per day. This drug can also be used in rectal suppository form at a dosage of 150 mg applied three to four times per day. At least one source recommends the length of treatment with this drug should be a maximum total of four weeks.


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