Two benzodiazepine compounds, midazolam and diazepam, were administered as adjunctive treatment to soman-exposed rhesus monkeys to evaluate their effects on acute soman intoxication. Monkeys were pretreated orally with pyridostigmine, exposed to soman, and treated i.m. with atropine, pralidoxime chloride (2-PAM), and with midazolam, diazepam or sterile water (control). All monkeys that received the benzodiazepines recovered sooner and exhibited no convulsions. Neuronal degenerative and necrotic lesions were decreased or eliminated in the entorhinal cortex, caudate nucleus, and hippocampus of those animals that received benzodiazepine therapy. These findings support the continued evaluation of drugs with anticonvulsant activity as standard adjunct therapy for soman intoxication.