A GABA reuptake inhibitor (GRI) is a type of drug which acts as a reuptake inhibitor for the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) by blocking the action of the gamma-Aminobutyric acid transporters (GATs). This in turn leads to increased extracellular concentrations of GABA and therefore an increase in GABAergic neurotransmission.
GRIs may be used in the clinical treatment of seizures, convulsions, or epilepsy as anticonvulsants/antiepileptics, anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia (SP) also known as social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD) as anxiolytics, insomnia as hypnotics, muscle tremors or spasms as muscle relaxants, and chronic pain as analgesics. They may also potentially be used as anesthetics in surgery.
GRIs can induce a wide range of psychological and physiological effects, including:
Many of these properties are dependent on whether the GRI in question is capable of crossing the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). Those that do not will only produce peripheral effects.
GRIs such as CI-966 have been characterized as hallucinogens with effects analogous to those of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (a constituent of Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) mushrooms) when administered at sufficient doses.
At very high doses characterized by overdose, a number of symptoms may come to prominence, including: