Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a channelopathy caused by loss-of-function mutations of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which encodes a phosphorylation-activated and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-gated chloride channel. In the past few years, high-throughput drug screening has successfully realized the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy for CF, called ivacaftor (or VX-770). A more recent CFTR potentiator, GLPG1837 (N-(3-carbamoyl-5,5,7,7-tetramethyl-4,7-dihydro-5H-thieno[2,3-c] pyran-2-yl)-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide), has been shown to exhibit a higher efficacy than ivacaftor for the G551D mutation, yet the underlying mechanism of GLPG1837 remains unclear. Here we find that despite their differences in potency and efficacy, GLPG1837 and VX-770 potentiate CFTR gating in a remarkably similar manner. Specifically, they share similar effects on single-channel kinetics of wild-type CFTR. Their actions are independent of nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) dimerization and ATP hydrolysis, critical steps controlling CFTR's gate opening and closing, respectively. By applying the two reagents together, we provide evidence that GLPG1837 and VX-770 likely compete for the same site, whereas GLPG1837 and the high-affinity ATP analogue 2'-deoxy-N6-(2-phenylethyl)-adenosine-5'-O-triphosphate (dPATP) work synergistically through two different sites. We also find that the apparent affinity for GLPG1837 is dependent on the open probability of the channel, suggesting a state-dependent binding of the drug to CFTR (higher binding affinity for the open state than the closed state), which is consistent with the classic mechanism for allosteric modulation. We propose a simple four-state kinetic model featuring an energetic coupling between CFTR gating and potentiator binding to explain our experimental results.