- The ability of the GABA(B) receptor antagonist, phaclofen to alter behavioral effects of ethanol was evaluated by loss of righting reflex (sleep time), motor incoordination (bar holding), spontaneous locomotion (open field activity) and hypothermia. Pretreatment with phaclofen significantly decreased the effects of ethanol on motor incoordination, locomotor activity and hypothermia. However, phaclofen had no effect on either pentobarbitalor diazepam-induced motor incoordination. Phaclofen slightly increased the ED50 for loss of the righting reflex but did not alter either the duration of reflex loss produced by ethanol or blood ethanol levels at awakening. Our results suggest phaclofen is rapidly inactivated resulting in difficulty in observing antagonism of long duration ethanol effects. These findings suggest that the GABA(B) system may play a role in mediating several important actions of ethanol.