Flumazenil Pretreatment Reduces Mefenamic Acid-Induced Central Nervous System Toxicity in Mice

Qais Jarrar, Rami Ayoub, Yazun Jarrar, Hadeel Aburass, Khang Wen Goh, Chrismawan Ardianto, Long Chiau Ming, Said Moshawih, Hussain Alfaqih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Mefenamic acid (MFA), a common analgesic, causes central nervous system (CNS) toxicity at high doses with a proposed activity on the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system. However, it remains unknown whether flumazenil (FMZ), a GABA type A receptor (GABAAR) antagonist, can reverse MFA toxicity. Methods: The behavioral and neurophysiological effects of MFA were investigated in mice with and without FMZ pre-treatment. The elevated zero maze (EZM) and marble burying tests were used to assess anxiety-like behaviors and burying activities, respectively. The standard bar test was used to evaluate catalepsy, while the actophotometer test was used to measure locomotor activity. Seizure intensity was scored, and fatalities were counted. Results: Without FMZ pretreatment, MFA induced behavioral and neurophysiological effects in a dose-dependent manner as follows: At a dose of 20 mg/kg, i.p, MFA-treated mice exhibited anxiety-like behaviors, which was determined by a significant increase in the time spent in the closed areas and a significant decrease in the number of entries to the open areas of the EZM apparatus. These mice also showed a significant decrease in the burying activity, manifested as a significant decrease in the number of buried marbles. At 40 mg/kg, i.p., MFA-treated mice showed catalepsy that was associated with a significant decrease in locomotor activity. At a dose of 80 mg/kg, i.p., mice developed fatal tonic-clonic seizures (seizure score = 4). Pre-treatment with FMZ (5 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reversed the anxiety-like behaviors and restored marble-burying activity. Additionally, FMZ prevented catalepsy, significantly restored locomotor activity, reduced seizure intensity (seizure score = 0.3) and significantly reduced mortalities. Conclusions: The present study’s findings indicate that activation of the GABAAR is involved in the CNS toxicity of MFA, and FMZ reverses MFA toxicity by interfering with this receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalJournal of Integrative Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • GABA
  • anxiety
  • central nervous system
  • convulsions
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors
  • neurological disease
  • psychiatric disease


Dive into the research topics of 'Flumazenil Pretreatment Reduces Mefenamic Acid-Induced Central Nervous System Toxicity in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this