Abstract Recent studies have shown that pretreatment with either pyridostigmine (PYR) or physostigmine (PHY) followed by atropineoxime therapy is very effective in reducing the lethality of nerve agents. The therapeutic efficacy of a PHY and PYR combination pretreatment was evaluated in guinea pigs challenged with two LD50s of soman. Endpoints measured were percentage of acetylcholinesterase inhibition induced by the pretreatment and survival up to 24 hr postchallenge. Response surface methodology was employed to describe the relationship between each endpoint and the pretreatment combination. Although both carbamates contributed to blood acetylcholinesterase inhibition, PHY alone protected as well as the optimal dose of the combination.