Ten healthy male volunteers were each studied on four separate occasions to assess the role of regular caffeine and alcohol intake on caffeine elimination. Antipyrine disappearance was also studied as an established quantitative test of hepatic microsomal function. Regular caffeine intake in high doses for 1 week failed to alter either antipyrine or caffeine pharmacokinetics. In contrast, alcohol intake of 50 g/day significantly prolonged caffeine half-life by 72% (P less than 0.005) and diminished caffeine clearance by 36% (P less than 0.0005). However, antipyrine kinetics were unaltered. These results demonstrate that alcohol, in amounts commonly consumed, is a strong inhibitor of caffeine metabolism.