To study the time to onset of mechanism-based inactivation of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C8 by gemfibrozil in vivo, we conducted a randomized five-phase crossover study in 10 healthy volunteers. In one phase the volunteers ingested 0.25 mg of repaglinide alone (control), and in the other phases they received 600 mg of gemfibrozil 0-6 h prior to the repaglinide dose. When gemfibrozil was taken 0, 1, 3, or 6 h before repaglinide, the geometric mean ratio relative to control (90% confidence interval (CI)) of repaglinide area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC(0-∞)) was 5.0-fold (4.3-5.7-fold), 6.3-fold (5.4-7.5-fold), 6.6-fold (5.6-7.7-fold), and 5.4-fold (4.8-6.1-fold), respectively (P < 0.001 vs. control). The geometric mean ratio relative to control (90% CI) of the maximum plasma concentration (C(max)) of the CYP2C8-mediated metabolite M4 was 1.0-fold (0.8-1.3-fold), 0.10-fold (0.06-0.17-fold, P < 0.001), 0.06-fold (0.04-0.10-fold, P < 0.001), and 0.09-fold (0.05-0.14-fold, P < 0.001), respectively. The strong inactivation of CYP2C8, evident as soon as 1 h after gemfibrozil dosing, has implications in clinical practice and in studies with gemfibrozil as a CYP2C8 model inhibitor.