EXSERVAN Is Now Available for ALS Treatment in the U.S.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare, neurological disorder that is characterized by the progressive death of nerve cells and muscle weakness. As time passes, many affected individuals experience difficulty swallowing. This symptom can have a major impact on daily life, as it affects how one eats, drinks, and takes medication. Luckily, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceuticals America (MTPA) aims to help with this problem with EXSERVAN (riluzole). This oral drug dissolves on the tongue, making it much easier for ALS patients to take.


Approved by the FDA in 2019, EXSERVAN is an oral film formulation of riluzole. This approval came after a pivotal study that revealed the oral film formulation delivers the same results as the tablet formulation. It was developed by Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. and is now being commercialized by MTPA.

This medication should be taken twice a day, with a dosage of 50 mg. Make sure that you take it either one hour before you eat or at least two hours after. In addition, you should carefully read the “Instructions for Use” section before taking EXSERVAN oral film.

About ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, neurological disease in which nerve cells in the brain stem, brain, and spinal cord deteriorate. Due to this deterioration, muscles weaken and people lose control of them and their voluntary movement. In the late stages of ALS, the muscles necessary for breathing weaken, resulting in death. There are two forms of this disease: sporadic and familial. The former is the most common, with 90-95% of cases falling into this category. In the familial form of the disease, it is known that a mutated gene is inherited from parents, but it is still not fully understood and only accounts for 5-10% of cases. Otherwise, the cause of ALS is unknown. Researchers believe that there is a connection between frontotemporal dementia and ALS. Another theory is that exposure to certain substances or toxins leads to the development of ALS.

Symptoms of ALS vary between individuals. They also worsen as the disease progresses. Symptoms begin with difficulty with small movements and everyday things like walking. At the onset of the disease, people may trip and feel weakness in their arms, hands, and legs. As it progresses, people experience difficulties with speaking and swallowing, slowed and slurred speech, twitches and cramps in the muscles, and difficulty holding good posture. In the later stages people will be unable to move their muscles gradually, which affects the entire body. This inability affects movements like blinking. While people with ALS experience loss of muscle function, they do not lose any of their cognitive abilities.

Looking Forward

Now that EXSERVAN is available to ALS patients in the United States, many may find it easier to take their treatment. This could greatly aid both patients and caregivers throughout the country.

You can find more about this story in this press release or learn more about EXSERVAN here.

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