Piracetam and aniracetam antagonism of centrally active drug-induced antinociception

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1996 Apr;53(4):943-50. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(95)02120-5.


The effects of the nootropic drugs piracetam and aniracetam on antinociception induced by baclofen, bicuculline, and picrotoxin and on baclofen-induced muscle relaxation were studied in mice. Antinociception was investigated using both the hot plate (thermal stimulus) and abdominal constriction (chemical stimulus) tests. Both behaviour inhibition and muscle relaxation were observed by using the rota-rod test. Piracetam (30 mg/kg, IP) and aniracetam (10 mg/kg, PO) reduced baclofen, bicuculline, and picrotoxin antinociception without modifying analgesia induced by non-GABAergic drugs such as morphine, physostigmine, clomipramine, and diphenhydramine. In this concentration range, piracetam, and aniracetam were also able to reduce the inhibition of rota-rod performance. At higher doses piracetam (100 mg/kg, IP) and aniracetam (100 mg/kg, PO) were able to completely prevent baclofen antinociception. However, when prevention of GABAergic antinociception was complete, piracetam and aniracetam were able to block non-GABAergic antinociception also. comparing the effects of piracetam and aniracetam with those exerted by the GABAB antagonist CGP 35348, a reduction of non-GABAergic analgesia was also observed using higher doses of CGP 35348 (2.5 micrograms per mouse ICV). The present results indicate that piracetam and aniracetam, by preventing both of the investigated effects of baclofen, have some selectivity against GABAB-mediated inhibition. The well-known activity of piracetam and aniracetam on learning and memory might, therefore, depend, at least in part, on the removal of inhibitory GABAB mechanisms that impair attention and cognitive functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Baclofen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Baclofen / pharmacology
  • Bicuculline / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Morphine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Pain Threshold / drug effects
  • Picrotoxin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Picrotoxin / pharmacology
  • Piracetam / pharmacology*
  • Postural Balance / drug effects
  • Pyrrolidinones / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, GABA-B / drug effects


  • Analgesics
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Pyrrolidinones
  • Receptors, GABA-B
  • Picrotoxin
  • aniracetam
  • Morphine
  • Baclofen
  • Bicuculline
  • Piracetam