JZP-4 is a potent calcium and sodium channel blocker, which is currently being evaluated in patients as an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer. In the current studies, JZP-4 was evaluated in a variety of animal models for anticonvulsant, antimania and antidepressant activity. In the mouse and rat maximal electroshock models, JZP-4 was slightly more potent than LTG. In the mouse pentylenetetrazole induced seizures model, JZP-4 was approximately twice as potent as lamotrigine in prolonging the time to clonus. In the mouse 6-Hz model for drug resistant or refractory epilepsy, JZP-4 had potent anticonvulsant activity at all current intensities, whereas LTG was active at only the lowest current intensity. In the mouse amphetamine-chlordiazepoxide model for antimanic effects, JZP-4, but not LTG, produced dose-related and significant effects at 3 and 10 mg/kg i.p. In the rat forced swim model of antidepressant activity, JZP-4 (30 mg/kg i.p.) produced a significant reduction in immobility and an increase in climbing behavior. LTG (30 mg/kg i.p.) produced similar effects but these effects did not achieve statistical significance. The specificity of this antidepressant response was confirmed in the rat locomotor test. In this test, JZP-4 produced dose-related and significant reductions in locomotor activity, indicating that it was not a CNS stimulant. LTG produced no significant effects in the rat locomotor test. The studies have demonstrated that JZP-4 has greater potency and efficacy than LTG in models of refractory epilepsy, antidepressant activity and antimania activity. The variance between the effects of LTG and JZP-4 may be related to the greater potency at sodium channels or the additional pharmacological actions of JZP-4 on calcium channels.