Effects of i.p. administration of the neurosteroids, allopregnanolone and pregnenolone sulfate, were studied in WAG/Rij rats, a genetic model for generalized absence epilepsy. EEG recordings showed that allopregnanolone, a positive modulator of the GABA(A) receptor, in doses ranging from 5 to 20 mg/kg, increased dose-dependently the number- and total duration of spike-wave discharges. Pregnenolone sulfate, a positive modulator of NMDA receptors, also increased those parameters, though only at the highest dose used (100 mg/kg). Significant changes in spike-wave discharges occurred during the first hour post-injection and were not accompanied with behavioral alterations. The obtained data indicate that both these neurosteroids aggravate the spike-wave activity. This finding contrasts with the anti-convulsant effects of some neurosteroids and they point to a different pharmacological profile of epilepsy with convulsive or non-convulsive seizures.