Different neural substrates have been reported to be implicated in analgesic mechanisms in the acute phasic and the sustained tonic pains. To explore the differential antinociceptive action of diphenylhydantoin (DPH) and carbamazepine (CBZ) on the acute phasic and the tonic pains, changes in tail flick latency, hot plate latency and the formalin-induced nociceptive score were assessed prior to and after intraperitoneal administration of DPH (20 & 40 mg/Kg) and CBZ (20 mg/Kg). In 11 rats, CBZ was administered repeatedly for 6 days at the dose of 20 mg/Kg/day. Also studied were the effects of strychnine and picrotoxin (1 mg/Kg, i.p.) on the CBZ-produced changes in the formalin-induced pain behaviors. The tail flick and hot plate ltencies were not changes after administration of DPH and CBZ. However DPH strongly suppressed the formalin-induced tonic pain. A single and the repeated administration of CBZ inhibited both the early phasic and the late tonic pain responses to formalin in n similar manner. On the other hand, the antinociceptive actions of CBZ were not altered by strychnine or picrotoxin. These experimental findings lead to the conclusion that DPH and CBZ have differential antinociceptive action on the acute and the tonic pains and that their antinociceptive actions are independent of the GABA- and glycine-receptors.