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Effects of single and combined gabapentin use in elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests

  • Fatma Sultan Kilic (a1), Sule Ismailoglu (a1), Bilgin Kaygisiz (a1) and Setenay Oner (a2)



Gabapentin, a third-generation antiepileptic drug, is a structural analogue of γ-aminobutyric acid, which is an important mediator of central nervous system. There is clinical data indicating its effectiveness in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders.


We aimed to investigate the antidepressant and anxiolytic-like effects and mechanisms of gabapentin in rats.

Material and Methods

Female Spraque–Dawley rats weighing 250±20 g were used. A total of 13 groups were formed, each containing 8 rats: gabapentin (5, 10, 20, 40 mg/kg), amitriptyline (10 mg/kg), sertraline (5 mg/kg), diazepam (5 mg/kg), ketamine (10 mg/kg), gabapentin 20 mg/kg was also combined with amitriptyline (10 mg/kg), sertraline (5 mg/kg), diazepam (5 mg/kg) and ketamine (10 mg/kg). All the drugs were used intraperitoneally as single dose. Saline was administered to the control group. Elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests were used as experimental models of anxiety and depression, respectively.


It was observed that gabapentin showed an anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like effect in all doses in rats. Its antidepressant effect was found to be the same as the antidepressant effects of amitriptyline and sertraline. There was no change in the antidepressant effect when gabapentin was combined with amitriptyline and ketamine, but there was an increase when combined with sertraline and diazepam. Gabapentin and amitriptyline showed similar anxiolytic effect, whereas ketamine and diazepam had more potent anxiolytic effect compared with them.


These data suggest that gabapentin may possess antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects.


Corresponding author

Prof. Dr. Fatma Sultan Kilic, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Medical Faculty, Department of Pharmacology, Meselik, Eskisehir, Turkey. Tel: +0 222 239 2979/4564; Fax: +90 222 239 3772; E-mail:


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Effects of single and combined gabapentin use in elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests

  • Fatma Sultan Kilic (a1), Sule Ismailoglu (a1), Bilgin Kaygisiz (a1) and Setenay Oner (a2)


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