Thiocolchicoside (TCC) is used clinically for its muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties, and it has been shown to interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors (GABA(A)Rs) and strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in the rat central nervous system. In contrast to a proposed agonistic action at these two types of inhibitory receptors, pharmacological evidence has shown that, under certain conditions, TCC manifests convulsant activity in animals and humans. We now show that the phasic and tonic GABA(A)R-mediated currents recorded from Purkinje cells and granule neurons, respectively, in parasagittal cerebellar slices from adult male rats were inhibited by TCC in a concentration-dependent manner. The median inhibitory concentrations of TCC for these effects were approximately 0.15 and approximately 0.9muM, respectively. TCC did not potentiate GABA(B)R-mediated currents in hippocampal slices, suggesting that its muscle relaxant action is not mediated by GABA(B)Rs. Intraperitoneal injection of TCC in rats either alone or in combination with negative modulators of GABAergic transmission revealed convulsant and proconvulsant actions of this drug. Our data, consistent with clinical observations of the epileptogenic effect of this compound, suggest that TCC is a potent competitive antagonist of GABA(A)R function.