The model-based approach was undertaken to characterize the interaction between the peripheral and central antinociceptive effects exerted by lumiracoxib. The effects of intraplantar and intrathecal administrations and of fixed ratio combinations of lumiracoxib simultaneously administered by these two routes were evaluated using the formalin test in rats. Pain-related behavior data, quantified as the number of flinches of the injected paw, were analyzed using a population approach with NONMEM 7. The pain response during the first phase of the formalin test, which was insensitive to lumiracoxib, was modeled using a monoexponential decay. The second phase, which was sensitive to lumiracoxib, was described incorporating synthesis and degradation processes of pain mediators that were recruited locally after tissue injury. Upregulation at the local level and in the central nervous system (CNS) was set to be proportional to the predicted levels of pain mediators in the local (injured) compartment. Results suggest a greater role of upregulated COX-2(Local) in generating the pain response compared to COX-2(CNS). Drug effects were described as inhibition of upregulated COX-2. The model adequately described the time course of nociception after formalin injection in the absence or presence of lumiracoxib administered locally and/or spinally. Data suggest that the overall response is the additive outcome of drug effects at the peripheral and central compartments, with predominance of peripheral mechanisms. Application of modeling opens new perspectives for understanding the overall mechanism of action of analgesic drugs.