Five healthy volunteers took 1.2 g rifampicin daily for 8 days, and before and afterwards each received hexobarbital (7.32 mg/kg) and tolbutamide (20 mg/kg) by i.v. infusion on two consecutive days. The plasma concentrations of the two drugs were determined during and after infusion. The average elimination half-life of hexobarbital had decreased from 325 to 122 min and of tolbutamide from 418 to 183 min following rifampicin treatment. It was calculated that the metabolic clearance of hexobarbital had increased about three-fold and that of tolbutamide more than two-fold. Significant changes in the distribution kinetics of the two drugs were not observed. The results suggest that rifampicin is capable of inducing drug metabolism in man, which leads to an increased rate of elimination of drugs that undergo biotransformation in the liver.