Synaptic GABAA receptors respond to synaptically released GABA and are considered to be unaffected by the low levels of ambient transmitter in the brain. We show that synaptic-type α1β2γ2L GABAA receptors expressed in HEK293 cells respond with large steady-state currents to combinations of a low concentration (0.5 μM) of GABA and clinically used GABAergic modulators propofol, etomidate, or pentobarbital or the steroid alphaxalone. At a maximally effective concentration of modulator, the current levels at the end of 2-minute applications of drug combinations were >10% of the peak response to saturating GABA. In the absence of modulators, 0.5 μM GABA generated a steady-state response of 1% of the peak response to saturating GABA. The concentration-response curves for enhancement of steady-state currents by propofol, etomidate, pentobarbital, or alphaxalone were at similar or lower drug concentrations compared with concentration-response relationships for enhancement of peak responses. We propose that modulation of tonically activated synaptic-type GABAA receptors contributes to the clinical actions of sedative drugs.