Get access

Determination of anti-convulsant and life-preserving capacities of three types of auto-injector therapies against soman intoxication in rats


Correspondence to: Pål Aas, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Protection Division, PO Box 25, NO-2027 Kjeller, Norway. E-mail:


More effective countermeasures against nerve-agent poisoning are needed, because current ones do not protect sufficiently, particularly the central nervous system (CNS). The purpose of the present study was to make a comparison of the antidotal capabilities of atropine/obidoxime/diazepam (termed the obidoxime regimen), atropine/HI-6 (1-[([4-(aminocarbonyl)pyridinio]methoxy)methyl]-2-[(hydroxyimino)methyl]pyridinium)/avizafone (termed the HI-6 regimen), and scopolamine/HI-6/physostigmine (termed the physostigmine regimen) against various doses of soman (2, 3, 4 x LD50). The results showed that each regimen administered twice (1 min and 5 min after exposure) effectively prevented or terminated epileptiform activity within 10 min. However, the regimens differed markedly in life-saving properties with the physostigmine regimen ranking highest followed in descending order by the HI-6 and obidoxime regimens. Pretreatment with pyridostigmine increased the potency of the HI-6 regimen, but not the obidoxime regimen. The latter regimen administered thrice (1 min, 5 min, and 9 min after exposure) did not compensate for the insufficiency. In half of the rats that lived for 7 days, neuropathology was unexpectedly observed predominantly in the left hemisphere unrelated to whether they seized or not. Local glutamatergic excitotoxic activity may occur even if manifest toxic signs are absent. The physostigmine regimen has excellent antidotal capacity, but the very narrow therapeutic window (< 10 min) makes it unsuitable for use in the field. The HI-6 regimen appears to constitute an efficacious therapy against lower doses of soman (2 and 3 x LD50). Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.