Effects of oxiracetam, physostigmine, and their combination on active and passive avoidance learning in mice

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1993 Feb;44(2):451-5. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(93)90490-k.


The nootropic drug oxiracetam (50 and 100 mg/kg) had no effect on one-trial passive avoidance acquisition in CD-1 mice, while the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine improved passive avoidance performance at doses of 0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg given either pre- or posttraining. In a multitrial avoidance task (shuttle-box), a consistent tendency to better performance was displayed by mice receiving oxiracetam (50 and 100 mg/kg) or physostigmine (0.01 and 0.025 mg/kg, but not 0.05 mg/kg). Combinations of the two drugs never improved active or passive avoidance performance more than drugs given separately. This indicates no advantage in combining nootropics and anticholinesterase inhibitors to improve learning and memory.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Physostigmine / administration & dosage
  • Physostigmine / pharmacology*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology*
  • Pyrrolidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*


  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Physostigmine
  • oxiracetam