Several genetic strategies for inhibiting neuronal function in mice have been described, but no system that directly suppresses membrane excitability and is triggered by a systemically administered drug, has been validated in awake behaving animals. We expressed unilaterally in mouse striatum a modified heteromeric ivermectin (IVM)-gated chloride channel from C. elegans (GluClalphabeta), systemically administered IVM, and then assessed amphetamine-induced rotational behavior. Rotation was observed as early as 4 hr after a single intraperitoneal IVM injection (10 mg/kg), reached maximal levels by 12 hr, and was almost fully reversed by 4 days. Multiple cycles of silencing and recovery could be performed in a single animal. In striatal slice preparations from GluClalphabeta-expressing animals, IVM rapidly suppressed spiking. The two-subunit GluCl/IVM system permits "intersectional" strategies designed to increase the cellular specificity of silencing in transgenic animals.